Christmas Magic: a public sculpture of the Russian folk character Baba Yaga will appear in the heart of London
On Christmas Day, while everyone will be tucking into their ham, beef or turkey, a sculpture will be unveiled, a sculpture devoted to the Russian fairytale heroine Baba Yaga, on Beauchamp Place. Sitting on a bench, speckled with glowing runes and traditional Russian designs, Baba Yaga will represent a unique diplomat – aside from time and politics. Her task will be to create an intercultural dialogue between two great nations – England and Russia – which are linked by ancient ties. The opening will take place on December 25th at 2 p.m. on 14-15 Beauchamp Place, SW11NG, in London.
“This is a development of the BY (Baba Yaga) project having various objectives one of which being the story about the best qualities of the Russian people reflected in ancient fairytales. Baba Yaga – one of the most important Slavic mythological characters. She possesses wisdom, magical powers and extreme sensitivity to such a concept as justice. Furthermore, she is a mentor because she passes on her knowledge to the younger generation”, says Irina Lagoshina, the sculptor who has created several works of Baba Yaga for the BY Project.
Initially BY project was implemented so that the Russian people, aside from everything, remembered and respected their history. The popularity of the fairytale heroine prompted the authors to create the character of Baba Yaga as a “peacemaker” and an “enlightener” in various parts of the world. Art is being used as a unique language, one that can be freely and openly spoken on a variety of topics. History, humor, modern technologies and means of communication are closely intertwined in the art project.
Project BY is interesting and understandable to the younger generation. Baba Yaga is an active modern blogger (having 130 thousand followers on Instagram) and her performances with “granddaughters” twins Katia and Volga differ in enthusiasm and unite Russian traditions with mass modern culture. Clips of the “animated” Baba Yaga on a mortar in different countries have already earned several million views. The show that accompanies every new sculpture opening in different countries always gathers many spectators.
Currently the sculptures that are dedicated to Baba Yaga are installed in the USA (Miami) and the UAE (Dubai). The sculptures were left to remain after participation in international exhibitions of contemporary art, Miami Art Week 2017 and world Art Dubai 2018. Baba Yaga sculptures are also displayed in Russian cities: Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Ufa.
The first international project with the participation of Baba Yaga took place in December 2017 during Miami Art Week (USA). She appeared in the form of a Russian Super Heroine with unsurpassed magical powers and wisdom. One of the main project goals was to form a cultural dialogue: everyone interested could leave a signature or comment on the sculpture itself. It made the art project a unique multi-national work of art. Today the sculpture garnishes the seafront of the North Beach in Miami.
In April 2018, during the exhibition World Art Dubai a project was presented entitled “Cultural Code” dedicated to the mysteries of the Russian history and mythology. The sculpture of Baba Yaga is now installed on the La Mare promenade in a prestigious area of Dubai. It has already become a local landmark. Visitors can attempt to decipher the secret “messages of Baba Yaga” by scanning QR-codes on the surface of the art object.
Irina Lagoshina was born in Mozdok, Russia. Currently resides and works in Moscow. Her practice encompasses a wide variety of media ranging from painting to monumental sculpture. As a contemporary artist she prefers to express her ideas in sculpture form. Lagoshina also created the statuette for the Sochi International Film Festival and Awards.
Stylistically, Irina’s artworks combine classical ratios and proportions with geometric minimalism. She is inspired by nature, mythology, Russian culture and the philosophical reflections of the inner as well as human activity.
Irina is a member of the Moscow Artist Union and the Creative Union of Russian Artists. Since 2005 her projects have been exhibited in various Russian art institutions and private galleries. Since 2017 Irina participates in international art fairs.
Her art is presented in private and corporate collections in Russia, USA, UK, Israel and the Netherlands. Public sculptures are displayed in the Miami, Dubai, and in various Russian cities.
So please come along, on Christmas Day, or any other time. The sculpture will remain at Beauchamp Place permanently.