Julia Surba: New Works from Ancient Kuzhebar
PFC Camilo González: Wartime Folk Art
Nancy Boitos: Large Rustic Furniture Projects
DeAnn Cote of DRC Designs: Hello, Hitty!
Mystery Corner: Who Is the Artist
Who Did "The Last Stagecoach"?
Russian-Tuvinian Karma Knot
Born in 1973, Russian artist Julia Surba is a young woman who has 'done a
lot of homework' before she got to the elaborate and intensely
pyroengraved works you see here.
After completing her studies in foreign languages and world art history, she began working as a translator. And simultaneously with that, as she describes it, she "fulfilled all the usual societal obligations of getting a prestigious job, a husband, an apartment, a car, etc."
Yet after all of these good things, Julia came to feel that something was missing from her life, and she began a most unusual search for an alternative society.
A Quest That Leads to Siberia!
At first, Julia says, her search for "another reality" was
oriented outside herself. She began visiting many eco-communities,
including ZEGG and Sieben Linden in Germany, Damanhur in Italy, and
finally the Vissarion community in Siberia, Russia. It was in Siberia
where she stayed the longest. According to Julia, being there brought
big changes in her vision of the world, and allowed her to look within
herself and find there the power to create her own reality--not only in
her "everyday life" but also in her art.
Julia Surba at Work
CD Stand, two views: above and left
Pyrography Enters Julia's World Picture
When it comes to pyrography, Julia describes herself as a newlywed still
on her honeymoon.
Legends of Ancient Kuzhebar
The brand name had already disappeared from Julia's first tool, the one she borrowed from her friend. Judging by the CD stand, it worked perfectly well despite being three decades old! Julia later bought an Uzor tool in a children's shop in Russia. Her latest work was done with a new tool--the Brenn Peter Mini--which she bought in the biggest hobby shop in Berlin when she was there. She notes that this last one is the best.
The Structure of Human Anima According to
Ancient Kuzhebar Ideology
"Old Siberian tales say that long ago near the Sayan Mountains
there existed a civilization, which was the birthplace of the present
South Siberian ethnic groups. This early civilization was given the
Kuzhebar because the first artefacts were found in the Siberian
village Nizhny Kuzhebar (Krasnoyarsk Region)."
With Structure of Human Anima... (above), Julia offers her pyrographic interpretation of the keystone of the Kuzhebaran culture that has her so intrigued.
Following below, for reference, is the keystone diagram of the structure of human anima (presumably deciphered by scholars from the hieroglyphs of an artefact belonging to the Ancient Kuzhebarans?).
The Structure of Human Anima According to
Ancient Kuzhebar Ideology, diagram
Kuzhebar culture was steeped in the use of the Laugh. In Ancient
Kuzhebar, Humor and the Laugh were considered to be the most serious
spiritual and psychic-energetic practice. One of their practices was
called 'The Yoga of Laughter'. Unlike in our culture, in Ancient
Kuzhebar, laughter was not the antithesis of seriousness, but rather
part of it. There was even a separate caste 'the monks of
Julia forwarded the above quotes from the website, where her work is shown, belonging to Vladiswar Nadishana, Dean of the Sound Microsurgery Department in Russia. Look for links with Nadishana or Ancient Kuzhebar.
Jew's Harp Rack
Above, a charming board done by Julia to hang a colorful collection of Jews' Harps.
World-Picture of Ancient Kuzhebar
Details of Julia's amazing pyroengraving technique are shown above in a
close-up image of a work entitled World-Picture of Ancient Kuzhebar
Aborigines. She learned pyrography by herself in Siberia and says she is
"still in this endless and thrilling process."
Besides drawing inspiration from the Aborigines' art, Julia also finds ideas in her "own unusual-usual daily life," which she tries to depict by means of her pyrograms in the way the Ancient Kuzhebarans did.
In the World-Picture image above, you can appreciate the varied depths of the pyroengraving and the intricacy and flow of her hieroglyphic pyrograms. Notice, also, a lot of happy, laughing faces throughout, and the rich layering and texturing Julia achieves with her pyroengraving, all the while weaving elaborate paths that resemble a mysterious ancient treasure map.
World-Picture of Ancient Kuzhebar Aborigines
Many of the parts for this piece on Julia Surba's works were either
adapted or quoted from a larger website--www.nadishana.nm.ru--that features
not only her bio and works, but also the multi-element music of Vladiswar
Nadishana and the culture of Ancient Khuzebar.
See also examples of her works highlighted in the Julia Surba Salon in the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art.
Symbol by Julia Surba
2005, Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.