Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Russian theme on the South Bank

The Red Kremlin by Janet Q Treloar

 By New Worker correspondent

THE SACRIFICE of millions of Soviet citizens during the Second World War is traditionally commemorated at the Soviet War Memorial in Lambeth on Remembrance Sunday. But this year there was a more unusual tribute to their struggle at a major art gallery on London’s Southbank.
            Appropriately called “A Russian Theme”, this exhibition consisted of a series of impressions of the heroic cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad, whose resistance broke the back of the Wehrmacht..
            Janet Q Treloar is one of Britain’s leading water-colourists whose works have been exhibited all around the world, including St Petersburg as well as the Russian Embassy and the Russian Cultural Centre in London.
Last week she joined forces with another master of the craft for this shared exhibition at the Bankside Gallery, the home of the Royal Watercolour Society in London. Dennis Roxby Bott treads a familiar path with his landscapes and architectural scenes at home and abroad while Janet Treloar explores a more unconventional road of colour and light to convey her vivid impressions of the Russian scene.
            Janet went to Russia in 2005 and her paintings are based on sketches of Moscow, St Petersburg and Volgograd done at the time and then reworked to illuminate what she describes as "the debt we owe to the heroic and sacrificial resistance of the Russian people to the Nazis".
             Others are dedicated to the parallel resistance to the "terror" represented by Anna Akhmatova, whose poems – much admired in western artistic circles – were dismissed by Zhdanov at the time as  “the poetry of an overwrought, upper-class lady" and the product of "eroticism, mysticism, and political indifference”.
The exhibition only ran for a week but the venue hosts new displays throughout the year. The gallery is very near the Tate Modern at 48 Hopton Street, London, SE1 9JH   Admission is free and the gallery is open daily from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm.