In the land of happiness

Artist Olga Levchenko

Artist Olga Levchenko
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“The moment I stepped on Indian soil I knew it was my home”, says Russian artist Olga Levchenko better known by her pen name Tara. She unveiled an exhibition of more than 50 of her oil paintings at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture on Friday.

Most of her artworks are based on her travels and memories of India and Nepal and offer her perspective of the two countries, its people and their cultures. She visited India more than 15 times and says her best works were done on the banks of the Ganges.

Olga Kroshkino, Chief Event Coordinator at the Russian House, says Olga’s collection adds to the artistic ambience of the Russian House in Delhi.

Levchenko says through her paintings, she allows viewers to take a peep into her thoughts. “I follow the art of impressionism, a liberal art form that conveys spontaneity and independence of thoughts with not just picturesque paintings but also every interior detail in it aligning with realism,” she says.

Russian artist Olga Levchenko's artworks on display at the Russian House in Delhi

Russian artist Olga Levchenko’s artworks on display at the Russian House in Delhi
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Levchenko explored India for four yearsbetween 2020 and 2023 and says the city of Varanasi filled her with happiness. The co-existence of modern and ancient structures across the country are reflected in many of her works such as New moon, Reflection of reality and Ganga rhythms .

“Happiness for me is watching the Ganga change colours at different times of the year, it is the reflection of reality. It is a joy to observe the simplicity of children running around the ghats and the wrinkles of wisdom on the faces of the elderly who lead the youth with their learning,” she says.

While travelling across different States and countries, the artist says she soaked in the local culture to be able to depict those authentically in her paintings.

She says each of her canvas is charged with happiness and marks the initial chapters of her life’s journey. “To live peacefully requires a constant give and take,” she says. It is this larger meaning that she tries to convey in her paintings from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Bundi, Jodhpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan to Naggar in Himachal Pradesh and Thorong La Mountain pass in Nepal.

Russian artist Olga Levchenko's artworks on display at the Russian House in Delhi

Russian artist Olga Levchenko’s artworks on display at the Russian House in Delhi
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Levchenko says she shares an everlasting bond with India and plans to continue her artistic journey here. At the moment she is also excited about another soon-to-begin special project on Varanasi. “If I have a choice, I would never want to leave India; it is so enriching to be here”, says the 44-year-old artist.

Since childhood, she had a creative flair in art and design and at the age of 17 opened her first art gallery with her mother in Tolyatti, Russia while pursuing philosophy in college. The subject helped her to develop a deep connection and an understanding of her surroundings, no matter which part of the world she was in . “I just need to look out of my window and remind myself of the world around me and absorb it as though I belong to it,” she says.

“I have been studying and honing my skills all my life, and my parents and children have supported me all along,” says Levchenko, who has travelled and done several projects in Morocco, Turkey, Bosnia, Libya and more.

About her pen name Tara, Levchenko says the inspiration came from Buddhism and the time she spent in the hills in Himachal Pradeshwhere Tara is worshiped as a deity. “Green Tara, is an avatar associated with enlightenment, wisdom and compassion and I found the name to be very fulfilling for me,” she says.

MUDIT AGGARWAL

(At the Russian House, 24 Feroze Shah Road, Vakil Lane, Mandi House,; Till May 28; 9am to 5pm)

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