The Collaboration of Elena Tkachenko and Igor Andrukhin
What amazes us? A wonder, surely! Yet the space left for magic in today’s world is scarce. Is there in the world feathery metal, viscous and malleable, woven into braids and fluttering as the wings of a dragonfly?
As a true magician, Igor Andryuhin, a famous and very talented artist from St. Petersburg, Russia, endows metal with unlikely characteristics.
It is in his power to turn common, coarse, brutal heavy metal into anything at all, for example, thin threads.
Working at the series “Weavings” (2009), he weaves wire rods into braids. Playing with rhythms, the master emphasizes the plasticity of the material. The combination of glitter and matting, close snarls and weavings with tabs, suggest special musicality, elegance, aeriality, and featheriness.
In the context of the united cultural space, the combination of Slavic, Celtic, and Scandivian motifs adds a contemporary edge to the modern works.
Can metal tremble in the breeze as a leaf and be fragile and tender as a flower?
Right before our eyes, in the series “Insects” (2010-2011) and “Plants” (2011), Igor works a real wonder, transforming a pile of plain, heavy and shapeless metal into an insect or a plant, endowing it with an artistic image.
Wire rods turn into lightest fluttering dragonfly wings or a long bug rostel, a screw becomes acorpora joint, a flat iron bar transforms into flowers and bolts into flower buds.
The lines by Anna Akhmatova inevitably come into one’s mind:
“I wish you knew the kind of garbage heap\
Wild verses grow on, paying shame no heed,\
Like dandelions yellowing a fence,\
Like burdock and bindweed…”
Since the works by Igor Andryuhin are especially poetic, each has its own mood or state, for example, the sinking sadness that you sense in the gently curved stem of a herb, the vital force that draws the sunflowers to the sky, or the sense of stability, fundamentality and timelessness that the oak boughs and the plasticity of leaves inspire.
Yet the idea to completely dematerialize metal, transform 3d objects into 2d space, make metal soft, warm and transparent like silk, was brought to life in the collaborative work with a famous textile artist Elena Tkachenko in the series of scarfs and wraps “The airy life of heavy metal” (2013). Having taken the photoprint of the works by Igor Andryuhin as a basis, Elena added the relief and glitter of real jewels to them with the help of painting it with gold, silver, and acryl.
Another metamorphosis takes place here – a print, a mere memory of a weighty object, regains metallic shine and gravity, allowing to highlight all the opulence and masterful graphics of the silhouettes of Andryuhin’s works. The technique of printing allows playing with the scale, expanding small fragments of weavings many times and shrinking monumental, sometimes gigantic insects to chamber sizes. The artists have attained a wonderful harmony of the softness of textile and hardness of metal and highlighted its gloss with silk and velvet in the wonderful collection, capable of accentuating the exquisiteness and fine taste of the owner of such treasures.