The World of Lyubov Talimonova
It is hard not to be impressed with the creative success of the artist Lyubov Talimonova. Her work has been exhibited in Moscow, Kiev and Tula, as well as in a number of overseas countries including France and Poland. She has also published collections of children’s fairy tales, poems and fables. Her books “My World”, “Holding the Ancient World in My Hands”, “How the Tuatha Found Happiness Again”, “A Journey Through Time”, “Tales of the Constellations”, “Prophets of the Past” and “The Little Flower Elf” are very well known and have received excellent reviews. Lyubov also designs and illustrates the books herself.
One gets the impression that Lyubov has formed a strong bond with the Earth, the Universe, the stars and planets, with unexplored beauty and the secret of Light and Goodness. She is irresistibly drawn to the Heavens, a boundless space in which she finds it easy to create, to breathe, and to be carried away by the beauty of the world. But Lyubov lives on the Earth, and everything that arises in her soul, thoughts and feelings is bound up with a knowledge of earthly beauty and cosmic worlds. For her, it is the world of ancient legends that carries the greatest significance, a world that she immerses herself in through literature, history and culture, and embraces with her mind and heart, creating in her work a sense of a new reality. Perhaps this is why Lyubov Talimonova’s art possesses an attractive, almost magical force that combines the seemingly incompatible – fantasy and reality, prophesy and immediacy. Lyubov allows her reader or viewer to follow her on a fascinating journey, to experience the infinity of visions and images created by the language of metaphor, the language of colour harmony. Her creative process is unusual and very distinctive: she sees art through the eyes of a researcher and an analyst, and combines this with her own romantic and emotional qualities and rich imagination. In her quests she is unpredictable: a whole series of fantasies overflows from one work to another, forming a unified whole, but with different variations of image perception. Lyubov creates her own unique world, which you can peer into with real curiosity and apprehension, experiencing the openness and sincerity of the artist, the lightness with which she works, as if free of tension and spiritual torment. The feelings experienced by those who view her paintings, the adults and children who read her poems and stories, are so important to Lyubov. It seems that these feelings are of happiness and joy, sometimes tinged with sadness.
Lyubov’s work, for all its apparent clarity, needs some interpretation, and to
understand it fully the viewer must undertake aesthetic preparation. Her artistic
creations are filled with various signs and symbols. Even if you do not delve deeply
into the encoding and scientific meaning of a particular subject, or the symbolism
of the piece, it is still possible to experience a feeling of aesthetic attractiveness.
The colour combinations of Lyubov’s work seem to show a kind of real and unreal world
that possesses a magic of metamorphosis, touching the mysteries of the Universe with
its glittering, expressive realms. This is borne out by the many-
From the standpoint of science and culture, Lyubov’s creative work can be interpreted
as being guided by higher powers, a respect and love for people, a recalcitrance
and passion for realising all that is unknown or uncertain, and a belief in something
unexpected and inexplicable. Lyubov’s unconventional thinking has led to a certain
degree of sensationalism. People visit her exhibitions not only to enjoy the aesthetic
beauty of her work or the bright colours, but also to try and understand the unusual
interpretation of earthly and cosmic subjects. Lyubov sees it as inviting the viewer
to live according to the laws of Truth and Goodness. This is one of the most important
themes in the works of Lyubov Talimonova. The images she creates are able to respond
to a person’s mood. Lyubov’s series of paintings, like distinctive suites of supersensitive
cognition, are full of colour, points and lines, magic squares, triangles, undeciphered
hieroglyphs, symbolic flowers – exciting, disturbing. The artistic devices she chooses
can be seen as a special way of creatively interpreting her own feelings. Her use
of various techniques is also characteristic. It is hard to say which of these is
her favourite – tempera, oils, gouache, water-
Marina Kuzina, Art Historian.
More light and air
The first impression of Salvador Dali’s pictures is an incomprehensible feeling that you have at some time lived through them. His associative pictures stir up something deeply hidden and secret from the bottom of the soul. Such feelings are also aroused in me by the pictures of an artist who, despite her absolute originality and independence, has a power of influence similar to that of the great 20th century master.
I am referring to the subject of our interview, Lyubov Talimonova, whose works are an inscrutable mystery that reflect her enormous talent. Every picture is filled with sophisticated philosophy. She has so much to say. Her pictures do not just speak, they cry out or laugh, stir your deepest emotions and bring forth complex associations. And there is such variety…
Symbolism, cosmism – the evident closeness of Lyubov’s works to these artistic currents does not in any way explain or define her artistic method. The narrow limitation imposed by any kind of direction is just not in her character. And it is not so much a matter of lack of ambition, but a realisation of the impossibility of expressing individuality through collective creative perception. Her paintings are personal, and so appear naked, open and vulnerable. They show a love for the “rare and intricate” while avoiding obsessive detail, and demonstrate the particular importance of fantasy, inventiveness, imagination, and idealistic and romantic characteristics. There is also a rather conventional disharmony of forms, deformation of figures, aestheticisation of a particular detail that sometimes eclipses the refinement of the whole composition.
The works themselves are like copies of the artist’s meditative states. They are all improvisations on unearthly, yet the same time altogether everyday themes. She is also attracted by the structure of the world, and treats objects and phenomena in great detail. For her a mystical beginning leads not so much to a series of subjects as an original way of playing with the physical characteristics of the world. Lyubov is interested in stopping motion and examining its essence. Colour, alongside shade, also emerges as a metaphor for life and movement. The whole palette of colours that she uses carry sensual accents. But it is all done very unobtrusively and delicately, sometimes dissolving the objects in a haze, other times focusing on the most minute details. The vibrations which create colour only serve to emphasise the illusoriness, and simultaneously the fully determined reality, of the world that the artist’s characters inhabit.
The whirlpool of life into which the modern person is drawn is forever accelerating. To escape from it, to stop time, to feel the essence, beauty and uniqueness – this is what Lyubov strives for, at first delaying and then reviving the moment. As a contemporary French philosopher noted: “The artist is the greatest doctor and patient of our age”. Will Lyubov succeed in curing someone of excessive haste, or even just tearing them away from their everyday troubles? Most probably, yes. At least she has suggested her own medicine.
Svetlana Felde, journalist. “Deutshe Allgemeine Zeitung”
The Stars that Shine by Day
“Narin and Taris have a girl!”
“What did Moran the soothsayer have to say about her?”
“They still haven’t gone to the house on the hill. But they intend to.”
“Let’s go with Narin and Taris and listen to what the wise Moran says about the child.”
“Moran, Moran. Can you hear us? A new child is born. A girl for Narin and Taris. What will you tell us about her fate? Can you hear us? Hey! Wake up Moran! We have brought great news. And the parents have brought the new child. Moran, come and look!”
“Was she born today? How strange.”
“What is strange?”
“The fact that tonight a new star has appeared in the sky; a silver star.”
“Did you say a silver star? Now that is a wonderful name for our little girl. Silver star – Ariane. Taris, what do you think, is it a nice name?”
“It is a fine name, but does it suit our child? Let’s ask Moran.”
“Silver Ariane. Let it be so.”
“But wise Moran, you have not yet seen this new child. Lay down your books, put aside your crystal ball, and tell us the fate of the star.”
“So, give me little Ari. Come now, why do you cry so much? Lie peacefully little one, and let Moran look in the old book.”
“Hmm, very interesting. It is not worth crying, little Ari. Things will be wonderful
for you, although your life will not always be easy. From birth the sky has endowed
you with an unusual gift: it has given you a living soul, an all-
The years passed. How many is not important. The age of a person should never be measured in years. Even in old age it is possible to be a child. And sometimes, from what appear to be children, it is possible to hear such things that you would only expect from a person who has lived a long life. A long and not altogether easy life…
And so the years flew by.
“Dear Moran, do you see that bright star over there?”
“A star?! During the day?! What do you mean, Ariane?”
“It’s a star and it’s shining during the day, Moran. Surely you can see it: it’s also shining for you.”
“That may be so… But you have been sitting here since morning and looking at the sky. Go for a walk, Ari. Go down to the village and see your friends.”
“But you know I have no friends.”
“Then find some.”
“You can’t go looking for friends – it has to happen of its own accord. And I don’t want just anyone. I’m more interested in looking at the sky and talking with you.”
“You are interested in old Moran?”
“Of course. You are very clever, you know a lot about everything: about the world, the sky, the stars, and people. You know many legends. Your stories are wonderful.”
“All this is true, but…”
“I know what you’ll say now. If you are tired of teaching me I’ll go to the river, into the fields. I’ll go up the hill to the stones…”
“Sit down, sit down. Old Moran will never tire of little Ari. And you and I shall go to the hill together, but later.”
“And we’ll fly!”
“Of course. Don’t you fly whenever you stand on top of the hill? The wind blows in your face, you close your eyes and the stones start to dance an ancient dance. Then you rise up and fly like a bird. Isn’t that right?”
“Yes that is true. It is wonderful to be able to fly. I am familiar with this. Perhaps it is your greatest happiness Ariane?”
“Happiness? Do other people not know such happiness, dear Moran? Do other people not fly?”
“Some could. But they often look at their feet rather than into the sky to find their star. Others see the stars as merely grains of sand floating in the sea. There are many people, like stars in the sky, and every one of them is different. Each is looking for their own thing in this world. Most often they find exactly what they were looking for.”
“Dear Moran, sometimes I feel that what I’m looking for in this world is different to what other people look for. I often don’t understand them.”
“You do not understand? That is strange.”
“No, I understand what people do. But why? I would act differently.”
“Always act how you want. If your actions are good and not bad, of course.”
“That is what I do. But why do they hurt me so often? Why do they laugh when I talk about my flights over the hills?”
“Do not listen to such people, little Ari.”
“I don’t listen to them. Let them laugh. I fly and will always fly. Isn’t that true Moran?”
“That is true Ari. But do not let such people upset you, it is not worth it.”
“I can’t be hurt or angry for very long. But you know that I’m happy with everything. Sometimes my soul is restless, that’s all… But however much you beg me, I’ll not go down into the village to look for friends.”
“I shall say no more. We should prepare for our journey.”
“Will you tell me a new story about the ancient fallen stones and their inscriptions?”
“Then I’m ready. Let’s go.”
“So we shall. And what have you found in these old stones? It is true that one can sit comfortably and rest on them.”
“Surely you know, dear Moran, that they are dancing and singing stones?”
“You have made this up.”
“I haven’t made anything up. You remember when we were last in the hills, how wonderful the night was?”
“Yes, yes. But what of it?”
“When the all the stars had appeared in the sky and it was the middle of the night, the stones suddenly began to move.”
“It was just the wind, Ariane.”
“No, Moran, no. The stones moved to a kind of magical music.”
“Music? It was just the rustling of the grass in the wind.”
“Then the standing stones suddenly flared up and began to radiate a soft pale bluish light.”
“It was just the Milky Way lighting up in the sky. There are many stars and so it becomes bright.”
“No, it was the stones greeting the sky and the Milky Way itself. And please don’t pretend, dear Moran. You have seen and heard all this yourself…”
“That may be so, but how do you know it?”
“It is more a feeling that I have. Do you understand? I can’t explain it any other way.”
“I understand you.”
“That’s good. Look, we are there already.”
“You see the inscriptions on the fallen stone?”
“Yes, there is still something visible. But no-
“Moran, has it ever crossed your mind that…”
“What, little Ariane?”
“Last time I stood in this place I saw, as if in a dream or like a mirage, the way things used to be. I saw whole stones untouched by time. Everything else was as it is now, only the grass was higher. I saw myself, or rather my reflection in the past. I was wearing different clothes. I was standing near the stone with the inscriptions – only they were more like pictures of the starry sky. Then – I remember it well – the inscriptions said something to me about my life. But I don’t remember what they said. Everything is obscured by fog, it has all disappeared. You are always surprised that I like this place so much. I don’t know why. Sometimes I feel that it was connected with me. But this was long ago. I don’t remember now.”
“Some day you will remember, and everything will fall into place. Do not worry about that which you do not know today, because you cannot know what will be tomorrow. But tomorrow, I think, will be good. Do you believe me?”
“Yes, I believe you. But now let us fly. IT IS ALREADY TIME.”
Translated by David Parfitt
The Legend of the Milky Way
Long ago, at the edge of the world, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, lived the Selurts. They were a fine people, tall and handsome. The Selurts studied the night sky: they calculated eclipses of the Sun and Moon, followed the phases of the Moon, compiled a calendar, and built megaliths.*
The Selurts never fought; they did not even know the meaning of war. Their life flowed peacefully and quietly. But then one day a proud eagle brought bad news that a hostile tribe was advancing on the Selurts. The Selurts understood the language of birds, and the eagle told them that the tribe were heavily armed. There was nothing left for the Selurts to do but gather their things and leave for the mountains or scatter to the islands. They abandoned their native lands, leaving behind megaliths and a great deal of knowledge encoded in symbols and drawings.
And so the Selurts left, and on their lands the hostile tribe settled. The population of the tribe grew rapidly and the land soon became too small for them. The warriors assembled and decided to drive the kind Selurts from the mountains and islands.
The warriors encircled the mountains and then climbed right up to the Selurts’ highest village. But imagine their surprise when they found it deserted. Where could the people have gone? Down the mountains? Impossible, they would have been noticed. Perhaps the Selurts had climbed higher still? The warriors climbed to the very peak of the mountain but found nobody there either. Where could the Selurts have climbed from the summit of the mountain? Only up into the sky… The warriors looked up, and across the sky they saw a shining path made from sand, pearls and tears.
The Selurts were inhabitants of the coast, and so when they had left for the mountains they had taken sand and pearls with them. Now, leaving for the cosmos, they had dropped the sand, pearls… and tears.
Translated by David Parfitt
(Constellation of Libra)
In the hills there was a village. It was called the village with the Green Stone. And sure enough, in the centre of the village stood a big green stone. People considered the stone to be magic as it helped good people but would not let evil people near it. If a person came to the stone for advice or with dreams of good things, then all their dreams would come true. People often gathered around the green stone. They believed that the presence of the stone made it impossible to deceive or tell lies. If there was a festival in the village then it would take place around the magic stone.
In the village lived two brothers, Unas and Ruad. Their parents had died and left the brothers a large pot of gold and precious stones, as well as many wise books. Both Unas and Ruad wanted the pot of gold: they thought it was better than having a large library.
A year passed, then two, and the brothers still could not divide up the inheritance. Then the villagers decided to gather around the green stone and ask its advice on how to settle the brothers’ dispute.
And so one morning all the villagers assembled around the stone and began to ask it for help.
Suddenly the big stone began to shake and a door appeared from somewhere. The door burst open and out of the stone came a young woman carrying a pair of scales. She went up to the people, took the pot of gold and placed it in one cup of the scales. Then she took a single page from one of the wise books and placed it in the other cup. Everyone froze with amazement as one page of the book, yellow with age, outweighed the pot of gold and precious stones.
Without a word, the young woman went into the stone door and disappeared. And the scales that she had left on the ground suddenly began to rise up into the sky. And there they stayed, shining in the heavens, as the constellation known as the Scales.
Whenever people look up to the sky they see the Scales, where a page of an ancient book outweighs a pot of gold to remind the people of true values.
And the brothers, Unas and Ruad, settled their differences. They divided all the gold and precious stones among the villagers, but kept all the books, and looked after them as the most valuable possession in the world.
Translated by David Parfitt
The Sun rose and lit up the whole world with his rays Everything on Earth was tinted with his bright colours: things that were dark and black at night became yellow, green, blue, red, white and brown. Everything in the world began to shine and grow warm, even the bleak and barren mountains.
On a small hill there lived a stone. The stone was neither large nor small, but could be seen on the side of the hill. At night the stone was grey and by day it was dark brown.
Near this stone lived a Shadow. She was a very ordinary Shadow – grey during the day and totally invisible at night. And like every Shadow she was terribly shy: as soon as a cloud appeared in the sky that was slightly bigger than usual the Shadow froze with fear. She was very unhappy with being like this, and especially with her greyness. “The Sun makes everything bright, beautiful and happy. White clouds float across the blue sky while birds sing in the trees. The lake is also blue and golden fish play in it. Even on the brown stones there are lizards sitting and resting. It is only me that misses out on the Sun’s rays. When the Sun lights up the whole world I still remain grey and drab. The brighter the Sun the darker I become. So what use am I to anyone?” thought the unhappy Shadow.
And meanwhile the cheery Sun was directly overhead. The Shadow looked glumly at the Sun, grew even darker, and with a sigh took refuge under the stone. And there she sat for several hours in boredom. When the tired Sun finally began to dip towards the Earth, the Shadow peeped out from under her stone and began to gaze sadly at the world around her.
Then from somewhere a delicate little butterfly appeared. The wind had carried her from far away and so she had decided to settle down somewhere and rest. The butterfly landed on the stone and said unhappily: “Oh, how hot it is! It has scorched my little feet!” The butterfly flapped her multicoloured wings and settled lower down in the shade. Straightening her wings, she settled more comfortably and said: “Ah, how nice to rest in the cool shade after a long hot day!” At first the Shadow froze with amazement, but then she clasped her hands in delight and proudly stretched right out across the side of the hill.
Translated by David Parfitt
By Lyubov Talimonova
Danae is a custodian of beauty,
Danae is a symbol of the island,
a symbol of the country.
People bring Danae flowers,
As to a symbol of beauty.
Who are you? Where have you come from?
Maybe Danae has descended from heaven.
Nobody will ever tell us.
Only the wind of memory will bring along
a vision of the hoary past,
And I will see Danae.
She is stepping from behind the rocks,
And treading along the edge of the precipice
As a symbol of eternal kindness,
Three magic signs are sparkling on her crown.
The moon appears from behind the mountains
To adorn Danae's amber veil
With millions of lights.
She will freeze in the moonshine
To hail her children.
Danae is a custodian of beauty, kindness
Danae is a symbol of moon islands.
But the islands have forgotten her,
The rocks cast a gloomy shadow on Danae.. .
Her triumph is
But a dream dispelled.
Behold: there is nothing left.
The crumbled rocks will never talk.
The river that mirrored Danae
On the day of triumph
The old time has gone by.
On the edge between Earth and Heaven
By Lyubov Talimonova
On the edge between Earth and Heaven,
During changing times,
Life was granted by Heaven
To the poor Soul of mine.
Nearing is the change of an era,
Tempers are rising fast.
The wild flower of nature
Has been sown amongst us.
Stars are shedding tears,
Years are flying by,
People are killing people
At this fast, highly technical time.
Some live in wealth,
Destitute rules elsewhere,
World has abandoned love,
Just animosity is left there.
Madness continues for long,
And, there seems no end in sight,
But clouds are stood at horizon,
And, promising thunder at night.
Nearing is the change of an era,
Roaring of changes is heard.
Joy and anticipation
Is felt by the Soul of mine.
The New is now near.
The Old is leaving soon.
World will be washed by tears,
And the dawn of light will ensure!
Translated by Nina Leonard