Fine Arts / Landscape Architecture
«BERESTA», Russian tradition
White Birch (Betula Papyrifera) is the emblematic tree of Russia. The first mention of the use of birch bark comes from Mesolithic period (approximately between 10 000 and 5 000 BC)
Since the 10th century, birch has been widely used in medicine, writing, as well as in everyday life (insulation of roofs, floors, walls, stationery, decoration, jewellery, clothing, toys and even in Russian cuisine such as the delicious birch juice). Known for its natural waterproofing and antiseptic properties, birch bark (called «BERESTA») has always been appreciated for use in kitchen utensils and tableware manufacturing.
"BERESTA" is also used in traditional Russian art - painting on bark, cutting, embossing, relief sculptures etc. Painting on bark is known since the 15th century and became a part of Russia’s cultural heritage.
The bark is taken from dead trees and worked in a special way to make it malleable in order to obtain an appropriate «canvas» for the artist’s creation.
The biggest challenge is to envision an image through the natural structure of the bark - using its fine horizontal stripes, black marks and scars, and then minimize the use of paint letting nature express itself. Obviously, we can paint whatever we wish, but in traditional art, winter landscapes and birch trees themselves are featured.
This project «BERESTA», is presenting to you a Russian tradition, oil painting on White Birch bark…
(Click on the image below for more details)