The lines have a will of their own

One of Irina Fedorova's illustrations. A girl with a jug and a wanderer. 2002 Source: BoreyArtCenter

One of Irina Fedorova's illustrations. A girl with a jug and a wanderer. 2002 Source: BoreyArtCenter

Meet Irina Fedorova, a Russian artist from the Republic of Bashkiria, who uses an ornamental design to illustrate books.

“For me, art is a way of thinking. I would even say that it’s a way of reflecting on reality, a search for ways of explaining it, an attempt to build a bridge between reality and oneself, between the inner and external aspects of oneself. Art is something that’s indispensible, a necessary condition of existence. It’s a spiritual quest, a mental journey,” said Fedorova. She works under the name Amnephis, although she sometimes signs her works with the initials IV.

Fedorova studied philology at university, but has pursued art since she was a child. With such a background, it’s no surprise that at one time she worked illustrating books, both her own and those of others. “Illustrations for books are an excellent way of starting a conversation with both the author and the viewer. Illustrations are to some extent a bridge between the inner world of the book (the text) and the external world (the person holding the book in their hands). That’s why I like creating bridges like that.”

“Some graphic images serve as the basis for my own stories, while others become illustrations for these works.” Over the last 13 years Fedorova has created about 2,500 graphic images in all. These works form series by themselves, depending on her interests. Some of her themes are the titles of some of the themes of this inner exploration: “Within the cultural oecumene”, “Simple city,” “Philosophical glamour” (2005-2007), “Bluebeard and the angel,” “Babylon”.

While Fedorova’s style is recognizably modern: the fluidity and fluency of the lines allows each viewer to approach the works in his or her own way. The drawings undergo a metamorphosis; human figures fanned by the wind of time are ready to become something else, to reveal the inner in the external: character, wishes, fantasies.

The artist typically uses an ornamental design: beginning at an unfamiliar point, it grows out in all directions, linking the meeting place, clothing and bodies of the heroes, and grows into a portrait, along the way creating botanical and geometric forms, living creatures and everyday objects which are touching in their domesticity in this wild forest, and merges into the initials IV.

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