exhibited paintings created by Saltanat Tashimova – a talented artist. These works very well match the spring mood of Nauryz (New Year in the Middle Asia) celebration.
Following the opening day under the intriguing title Into mysteries of yourself outside, Saltanat’s friends and guests gathered for a second time at the exhibition, where apart from the cultural program, a presentation of Svetlana Sherstnyova’s book God Save You, Horses! was held.
“Why have you decided to give such a party on March 15?” I asked the artist. “Does it coincide with the closing of your exhibition?”
“I’ve decided to give this party as an artistic reception for my friends in the framework of my personal exhibition”, Saltanat replied. “It’s not closing yet – it’s going to run till March 24, and there still will be interesting meetings.
“How has the idea of the book with such a puzzling horse title being presented at your exhibition occurred to you?”
“This idea has emerged both spontaneously and naturally. Because we’ve been friends with Svetlana Sherstnyova for a whole year now, and we have very much in common. If she has written a book on how horses helped her to throw off a disease, why not make her book’s presentation at my exhibition? I want interesting personalities meet at my parties, where people will generate ideas and share them, find out about other people’s creative activity!”
It wasn’t hard at all to make sure that Saltanat’s words reflected the reality. That night, the atmosphere of free-spirit socializing in the gallery was organically interchanged with the performances of adult poets and young musicians. Dinara Iskakova and Zhanat Baimukhametov read their verses. Saltanat’s 11-yeared son Almas played beautiful kyuis (kyui means Kazakh instrumental piece) on dombra, 12-yeared Aigerim Tanyskozhinova performed two pieces on primo kobyz (Kazakh national string instrument), and 10-yeared Aspan Erzhan-uly performed two remarkable flute pieces.
The party host surprised everybody with her unexpected artistic talents as well. To the sounds of unusual music she danced a wonderful dance.
“Saltanat, please tell me about the dance that you’ve performed right now”, I asked her. “There was something shamanistic about it. How did you choose music for it?”
“Dance is also my art. The creative energy expressed in plastique and body movements is the same as in painting, where I express myself through colours, or in poetry where I dance with the word. I have shaman origin – my grandma’s sister was baksy (a shaman). But that’s another story to tell.
And so, I feel this shamanistic stuff within myself and my creative activity – in my ability to enter a current and then return from it safe and sound.
We’ve chosen this music together with Vladimir Filatov, the owner of the gallery. It has that mystery, something from Nature that I needed for my dance.”
“And what is the concept of the exhibition? In what time the exhibited works were painted?”
“The concept of the exhibition is the complete absence of concept! It’s a free flow, improvisation, Spontaneity, it’s Here and Now! And the pictures were painted in the last two years – in 2013 and 2014”.
“And where do they teach professionalism and art to combine academic habits with the ability to express one’s inner freedom in such a way?”
“I got my education at the Institute of Theater and Arts in Almaty.”
“Saltanat, is your art a source of income for you? Apart from the call of your soul, of course…”
“I am lucky to have my art both as the call of my soul and the source of income. Sure, it is a complicated thing, because I myself am a PR expert, picture dealer, manager, and director.
“Who buys your paintings? Residents of Kazakhstan or expats?”
“My paintings are usually bought by our businessmen, because unfortunately, many can’t afford such works. And by foreigners, too. My pictures are in private collections in Germany, US, Turkey, Britain, Russia, and other countries.”
“Does your son perform at every exhibition of yours? Where has he learnt – or still learning – how to play? Do you want him to become a musician?”
“Almas performed at the two evening parties out of three, which were held in the framework of my exhibitions. The sound of his dombra is in fine harmony with my pictures. He started from the dombra club at school, but then he came to love this instrument so much that he began playing it during all his leisure time.”
The curator of the exhibition was Nina Kumambetova, the young and beautiful girl combining her internship in the gallery as art manager with her studies at the prestigious Kazakhstani institute KIMEP. She is far from an outsider in the gallery business, because she studied the history of modern art in Netherlands for six months.
“Nina, let me ask a hardball question. Why did you decide to let Saltanat use the gallery premises for her exhibition for a whole month? Is her art that important for people?”
“That’s a strange question for me”, Nina replied promptly, “for this is a common, direct and foremost task of the gallery and art manager – to help artists, provide them with premises, support the sphere of art and its participants. As for Saltanat’s art: it’s sensual painting. The riot of colour, emotions, splashes, flames is the sign of intuitive work of the author. These are paintings of warmness. Pictures of energy.
Do we need them? I can answer with the question: Do we need emotions at all?”