Magic in Stone

Issue #1 • 1169

In January 2009 the Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan hosted a personal exhibition of Liudviga Nesterovich, member of the Creative Union of Artists of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan; the exhibition titled “The Mystery of Stone” displayed small form sculpture.

Liudviga Nesterovich

Liudviga Nesterovich is one of the leading small sculpture masters working with materials such as clay and wood. For the last 16 years she has been working with small stones.

The woman-artist says, “Stone-working is an interesting yet difficult craft. Few people dare approach it. The material is hard and progress is slow; not more than two or three items can be wrought in a year. Stone texture reveals itself at stripping and grinding… The pattern should help the form rather than obstruct it. Therefore one must not only guess the composition in stone, but also be able to maximise the expression, show patience and proceed carefully to avoid breaking the stone as it has a complex structure and a wrong split can ruin it, rendering the stone useless for the sculpture to be”.

Of the tools Liudviga mainly uses grinding stones and different tips. She enjoys working with onyx and a variety of agate in the form of dense aggregation of fibre-like or radial ray-like formations of quartz. Apart from that Nesterovich uses chrysolite, cornelian, garnet, black coral, jasper, chalcedony, moonstone, amazon-stone, fluorite and other stones.

Wanderer. 2003. Onyx

The artist often associates stone colour and shape with animals, and she exploits their images a lot. Such are her works “Hedgehog”, “Cat”, “Turkey Minor” and “Turkey Major”, “Hamster”, “Racoon”, “Little Fish” and many others. Each character from the animal world has a mood and character of its own, which makes Liudviga’s works particularly attractive and lively.

Little Horse. 2003. Onyx

Some of her sculpture characters are the product of the artist’s fantasy. Such is the “Sea Legend” shaped as a horse with fish tail. Quite interesting are green patterned amazon-stone and jasper in “Day-Dreams”, which are associated with Indian tales about a human-bird with wings and paws, one of which holding a treasure made of obsidian with inlaid flower. This item represents a combination of her skill as sculptor and jeweller. Her sculpture “Horsewoman” is generalized, somewhat heavy and inspired by reminiscences of women in all-covering clothes whom Liudviga often saw in her native town when she was a child.

Horsewoman. 2005. Onyx

The woman-artist dedicated some of her works to the women of the East. Three of them have already been purchased in the UK, Korea and Germany. Stripy onyx these are made of is associated with traditional textiles. Very beautiful is “Wanderer” where the artist discerned monochrome face and hands against the overall background of stone that resembles colourful gown.

Migratory Bird. 2006. Moonstone, jasper

Liudviga Nesterovich is a regular participant of international exhibitions, including those held in China, the United States, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries. Some of her works are kept in the State Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan, Samarqand sanctuary-museum, Andijan museum of history and local lore, and private collections in many countries.

Larissa Levteeva

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