Natalia Avdeeva is a familiar face on the streets on Kensington and Chelsea often with a brush in hand. A striking looking Russian artist she spends most of her time outside, painting and drawing Chelsea’s streets, parks, bridges, river and iconic cityscapes. This summer over 150 of her latest works go on show at the Bankside Gallery from June 20 – July 2.
What is it about Kensington and Chelsea that inspires much of your work?
My journey in the UK began in Kensington and Chelsea, when in 2005 I decide to leave St Petersburg where I was working as a museum tour guide to pursue the arts and complete my art studies at Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea. I have worked in Chelsea ever since then and now have a studio on the Kings Road.
Chelsea is one of those places that holds you or it doesn’t and it has held me for a while it’s the place where I had my first exhibition. It is a very bohemian place and has character which still remains. There are plenty of interesting artists and creative people here and I have met some incredible people that have inspired me.
My studio is in a complex with other artists it’s a place where I can interact with them it’s almost like a little community. Chelsea is a place with lots of expensive houses but is unique in the way that there are lots of different societies and clubs. I was delighted to be elected member of the Chelsea Arts Club and I belong to the Royal Institute of Oil Painting.
What are your favourite places?
Sloane Square Peter Jones, Chelsea Green and all the little streets and mews around are some of my favourite places. Chelsea is very organic and natural and it works so well with bridges, buses and cars. The Embankment and Albert Bridge near Battersea is also beautiful, I love catching the sunrise and sunset on the Thames.
I have a great passion for the English Coastline; I have explored the coastline of Isle of Scilly in Cornwall, Suffolk, Norfolk, Devon and Dorset. The Isles of Scilly is a beautifully weird place it’s different and there are not many people it’s in the middle of nowhere. The coast of England features in a number of my paintings that will be exhibited at my exhibition in June.
Tell us about your method as a landscape artist
I like to experiment with both traditional and contemporary methods of landscape painting. It’s my own interpretation of the landscape and the experience of plein air that I carry back to the studio. I reinterpret the same scene with a different technique adding the same vibe, experience and adrenaline to create something original.
On the coast of England I like to paint during low tide, it’s when I am able to enter the water and capture the true beauty of the coast. The water is blue and you get white sands the water exposes the debris, shells, stones and greenery. With landscapes I’m looking for something untouched a bit wild, this is what inspires me. I like panoramic views it gives you a feeling of freedom vast horizons, skies, limitless plains.
As a Russian artist, I am expected to be traditional in the way that I paint landscapes but I enjoy experimenting with non-traditional methods. I use oil paints which are quite subtle and detailed, so I am still traditional in a way but I have been experimenting to create something modern and contemporary.
I have been using a print machine, which is used to create limited edition prints and oil and acrylic paints the blend of the two has allowed for me to divert from the details and come up with something abstract. The societies that I belong to would not recognise my contemporary work as landscape art, my clients have been requesting for me to create more contemporary paintings.
Where can we see your work?
I have a major exhibition showcasing over 150 of my work entitled “Above and Beyond”. Some of my work feature views from above where you are able to see the landscape and beyond.
To me the beauty of nature is beyond limits, uncontrollable and beyond human understanding. It’s meaning that can be taken literally above and beyond or in a more philosophical way.
The exhibition coming up this summer at Bankside Gallery, next to Tate Modern is something that I am excited about two of my works both traditional and contemporary will appear together.
This is the first time, usually artists struggle to display both works that are different but I have managed to find a medium when they both work together.
Above and Beyond: Natalia Avdeeva
Bankside Gallery Thames Riverside, 48 Hopton St, London SE1 9JH | Tel: 020 7928 7521
Exhibition dates: 20 June-2 July | Open: Daily 11am-6pm
20 June ‘Vernissage’ Gala Evening 5.30pm-9.30pm Exhibition Preview
30 June ‘Finnisage’ Gala Evening 5.30pm -9.30pm