Saturday, 15 January 2011

Ice and snow wonders in Novosibirsk

The festival of ice and snow figures is already a good tradition in Novosibirsk. This event traditionally takes place in the central city park each January 8-13 and attracts artists from different cities of Russia and even from abroad.
Snow should be quite solid, so about two weeks before the festival it is put into big wooden boxes and pressed.
Sometimes artists have to work in rather severe conditions, as the average temperature in January is about -20 here, and this year it was about -30 the day the festival started.
Unfortunately snow is a fragile substance and sometimes figures get a little destroyed just after they are made.
After the figures are built, they remain in the park for about 1 week and then get completely destroyed. And only the pictures remind us of this wonder.

 This year's winner. This figure is called Energy. I made this photo on Friday, the 14th, and on Saturday, the 15th it was already somewhat destroyed (a couple of rays were missing)..

 Best Friends.
 My Fish. As far as I remember, it was made by people from Kazakhstan.
 Somewhat abstract figure. But looks amazing.
 Buddha and monkeys. Made by Altai artists.
 This one took the 2nd prize.
 Don't know what it means, but I liked this most of all.

Young artists can also participate in the event. And their works are as interesting and beautiful, as those made by adult masters.
 It is a real happiness for me to see that this nice thing was made by the children from the school where I studied.
A character from a popular modern Russian cartoon.

I hope you like the pictures. It is a real pleasure for citizens and guests of our city.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Siberian Birch Bark Museum

The museum of birch bark crafts in Novosibirsk is unique.
It claims to be the only one of that kind in the world.

In it a visitor enjoys the vast collection of pictures, figures, decorations and even icons, all of them made of birch bark in Novosibirsk and in other cities and regions. Most of them are new, but some were made several decades and even centuries ago.

The collection is amazing! Some figures are so strikingly complex that one just can't imagine how the artist was creating them. It is not an exaggeration to say that all pieces are masterpieces.

As it is a purely Russian style of arts and crafts, the most pieces represent characters from Russian fairy tales. All those wood goblins (called Leshiy in Russian), Baba Yagas, wood spirits (lesovichoks), sauna spirits (banniks) and so on. There are many objects of worship, some kind of amulets kept in the house or worn as decorations. Even icons can be seen and bought here, blessed by the Russian Orthodox Church.
A lot of objects reflecting lifestyle in an old Russian village.
There is even an 18+ hall, skillfully hidden behind a plain door, so ask your guide or a museum officer to open it for you!

Some simple things can be bought in the museum shop, and larger objects can be ordered from the aetist.
I recommend visiting this museum to all guests of Novosibirsk! It is small, so the tour won't take you more than 1 hour.

The museum has two exhibition halls, located ul. Sverdlova 21, and ul. Gorkogo 18, each of them in the historical downtown, close to the main attractions.