A Kiev artist Lyudmila Rashtanova works in the field of easel painting and graphics. She has been a member of “Association of Young Artists and Critics” NUAU since 2004. In winter, she presented her latest project ” Personal Correspondence ” .
When did you start drawing?
I’ve been drawing since childhood. In 2006 I graduated from The National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture. There I studied at the Easel Graphics Department under the guidance of A. Chebykin . Unfortunately, there are very few etching and lithographic workshops in Kiev, that is why I’ve turned to painting.
Are there any artists in your family?
No professional ones, but my mother and grandfather were good in painting.
You have recently presented your exhibition “Personal Correspondence” in the “Karas” gallery. What inspired you?
There have been a lot of mail in my life recently : personal correspondences and parcels. It happened, that I had parted ways with very close people of mine.
With whom exactly? If it’s not a secret…
My sister went to China, a friend went to spend summer in the USA. And there are also some friends I contact with regularly by the email.
Ludmila Rashtanova (right) with her sister
Nowadays people rarely write handwritten letters to each other. Do you think it is good or bad?
A letter written by hand, carries not only the information, but emotions and feelings, which are experienced by the author. Any email is not able to transfer these as bright as a simple piece of paper with the penmanship of your close person. You touch this letter, feel it. I also see a magical ritual in the process of sealing, sending and receiving, which transcends time and distance.
PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE 2016
How did you begin your artistic career? Tell me about the first project.
I have a sister. She is a very close friend of mine. She influenced me a lot by sending my works to gallerists. My first personal project took place in RA gallery, called «ekzotica». It happened in 2011. There were a lot of palm trees and monkeys on the pictures because all these images are really exotic for us. Since then I have often collaborated with the RA gallery and represented there other projects as well.
Where did you exhibit your works except Kiev?
I’ve exhibited my works in the Art District gallery in Amsterdam, and within the “Аrt Vilnius 2012”. You take part in charity exhibitions. Tell us about them… I have a great respect for charitable and social projects such as “Vogon Lyubovі” in M17, the project which helps ATO; the cultural initiative “Save Ukraine”, which was organized by Gallery 8bit. In general, I believe that, if you can help, you can’t lose this chance.
Do you paint everyday or in the moments of inspiration?
I paint every day, but sometimes I make long intervals. It depends; usually I am inspired by the smell of paint, solvent and the types of canvases. I seem to be a workaholic, the most enjoyable time is the time spent at work. It makes me happy.
Tell me how you create paintings. What does this process look like?
The process of creation starts with sketches and preparation of the canvas: I choose the size, bnpull the canvas on the frame, and start to work. Since it takes some time, there is an opportunity to think over the whole work.
There are some of your graffiti around Kiev. When did you start making them?
In the academy. We made the pot boil by decorating clubs and, of course, drew a lot for themselves. I like to do it even now. I dream to return to the walls and cylinders in summer.
Where do you sell paintings more often: in Ukraine or abroad?
It’s more often in Ukraine
What are your plans for the nearest future?
I want to work as much as possible. I won’t specify but I have plans to work with volume and installations.
What important event has happened this year?
The year has just begun, there is nothing to boast, except the project “Personal Correspondence” in the “Karas” gallery. The last year I had two personal exhibitions in the “Hud Graf” gallery, titled “Reflections” and RA gallery -. “The Butterfly Effect”, and also participated in a remarkable project A4 in the “Karas gallery “.
The artist is not obliged to do anything. He needs only freedom, like all of us.