Hidden vistas, secret coastlines and unexplored beauty spots of the British countryside are revealed in a new series of immersive landscape paintings by the Russian artist Natalia Avdeeva to be held this summer at Bankside Gallery. Avdeeva was born and spent her childhood in the Altai region of Siberia, a country with a starkly different environment to the UK. Since arriving in London in 2005, she has been fascinated with the British landscape: “ I love the constantly changing hues and dramatic skies in Britain, the tremendous variety of landscapes and in particular the low tides where natural treasures are revealed and then swept away at the blink of an eye.” She says.
Avdeeva works a great deal outdoors - in all climates - as she likes to almost become a part of the landscape that she is painting. “Working ‘en plein air’ forces me out of the comfort zone of my studio and up on the cliffs of Devon and the streets of London.” She explains. “I get challenged by the weather, passers-by, the changing lights and temperatures. Each expedition is an adventure that I try to capture in my work. The experiences are often challenging, but always rewarding.”
The exhibition title ‘Above and Beyond’ refers to the locations where she paints. ‘Above’ as she choses elevated spots such as mountain peaks and cliff tops to set up her palet and easel. ‘Beyond’ is a reference to ‘beyond the horizon’ or off-the-beaten-track. Avdeeva travels to little-known places in Britain of spectacular beauty and is surprised how many unexplored the British countryside is. ‘Above and Beyond’ also refers to the powerful emotions she experiences while painting outdoors - an alien figure, yet a vital part of the natural environments where she works. The Scilly Isles, Cornwall and Devon are among the rural locations presented.