Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

The project consists of a series of drawings, devoted to traditional costumes of people of the world. Objects of representation are Russian national dresses, costumes of European countries, clothes of Mongolian and Altai shamans, North American Indians, and colorful outfits of African and Australian tribes.

I was attracted by theatrical expressiveness, diversities and similarities of dresses that were passed from generation to generation along with their customs and rituals. The form of traditional folk dress, its colour, the design of pattern and symbolism, has its own meaning connected with numerous rituals, description, which came to our knowledge in the form of fairy tales and legends. These rituals rise from the beginning of time, and have their common origins, uniting different nationalities.

Folk culture always was the object of inspiration for art, literature, and music from around the world. At the end of XIX century and beginning of XX century, it was reflected in both Modern and Avangard art styles. The fashion of the art of African countries, pre Columbian America, Japan and China comes into fashion in Europe. Russian artists travel to explore North, Siberia, Far East and Central Asia. Illustrations of Ivan Bilibin, theatrical decorations and costumes of Lev Bakst and Konstantin Somov, mystic landscapes of Nikolai Rerich, paintings of Natalia Goncharova and many other artworks of that period were reimagined transformations of folk art and literature.

After a hundred years, in the beginning of XXI century, during the era of globalization and internet, the interest to folk art is still on great demand. The traditions of prehistoric culture still affect the modern society.

My project can be perceived as the collection of drawings for nonexistent theatrical stage, the attempt to find a new point of view to the heritage that we have received from our ancestors.