Lovely to meet Simon Coveney today - he popped in to see the last day of Sergey Talichkin's Solo show.
Niall MacMonagle - What lies beneath: Northern Lights by Sergey Talichkin
"Congratulations Sergey, Opening an Exhibition of this quality is easy. All you’ve got to do Folks is open your eyes. Let the magic happen." Niall MacMonagle
"What a wonderful Exhibition" .
Heather Humphrey, The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
"Love the Stacks!" Best of Luck, Leo Varadkar TD
‘Days are where we live’ says poet Philip Larkin and we’ve all known different kinds of days: the higgledy-piggledy ones, the frazzled ones, the chasing-our-tails ones . . . Or if you’re Sergey Talichkin, the mellow, laid-back, calm and mysterious and beautiful ones. Because that’s what Talichkin captures so well in the works before us this evening.
Art alerts us to everything about our being here on planet earth. And this extraordinary thing called making art has been with us from very early on. In 1995, in the Chauvet Cave in France wall paintings were discovered that were dated to approximately 30,000 to 32,000 B.C. This making of images is a very old art form and the Irish poet Moya Cannon points out that ‘the need to make something beautiful was central to our emergence as human beings. Our need for beauty is very old’. Our need for beauty is very now and all about us this evening in these two rooms are works of extraordinary beauty.
Earlier this year I came across a painting of his at the RHA Summer Show. It was a magnificent Dublin night scene and it stopped me in my tracks. I admired it then, and now knowing more of his work, I admire his paintings even more. With Yugen, this new show, Sergey Talichkin takes us places. Our lives have become saturated with computer technology, our lives have speeded up, have become faster but Sergey Talichkin reminds us that we are part of nature, not separate from it.’
Talichkin’s portrayal of the natural world, landscape, seascape, skyscape, stunning cloudscapes in changing, different light is masterly and these nineteen paintings around us take us places – to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, a harvest field. Glendalough, Skellig Islands, the city at night, Dalkey, Howth. AND of course the Poolbeg Stacks - saved by St Leo Varadkar, no kidding. The Poolbeg Chimneys feature three times in this exhibition; that walk to Poolbeg Lighthouse is my favourite walk in Dublin and it’s another reason why I love Sergey’s work. And, for Killarney-born me, one of the very best things about Sergey is that his favourite place in Ireland is County Kerry. He’s a discerning guy; he has great taste.
Born in Ukraine, he has made Ireland his home and not only is he technically brilliant, this young man has soul. In his art he has allowed Irish people view the Irish landscape with a refreshed pleasure. His Glendalough is a moody blue; his canal back walk is still and greeny; his Ballycarbery Castle is ghostly and beautiful. In these paintings and in those works that do not feature, say, a specific place – I’m thinking of a painting like Lilypond Sea – there is a wonderful, calming effect. A special feeling that’s summed up in the Japanese aesthetic term Yugen, the name of this exhibition, meaning a deep awareness of the mystery of the universe. Yugen is not about some other world, it is about this world and all it offers, a world that is becomes a heavenly on earth.
What Sergey Talichkin does in this recent work is not only thematically unified but, technically, he has seen the light, he has captured the light in oil on canvas. It’s poetry in motion – just look at his Rolling Storm – or poetry in slow motion – for example his painting, Luminous Drift.
Today it was announced that Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. And - at the risk of being stoned in the steets – Ishiguro is a much better choice than last year’s Bob Dylan. I heard Ishiguro years ago in Dublin and I still remember something he said that evening: Ishiguro – his friends call him Ish – said: ‘We grow old, we become feeble and we die. But love and art dignify our lives.’ I can’t vouch for Sergey’s ability to help you love better but these wonderful paintings reminding us, as they do, of our potential as human beings, certainly dignify our lives. And in fact they do prompt us to love this world more.
I began with Philip Larkin, a poet with a bleak and cynical outlook; I’ll end with another poet – Lemn Sissay and a little four-line poem that for me captures Sergey Talichkin who embodies the positive, the optimistic, the mysterious. The soulful. How does he do it? With great skill and wisdom and insight. And with a generosity and warmth that is everywhere evident in the paintings around us.
Here’s Lemn Sissay:
How do you do it? said night.
How do you wake and shine?
I keep it simple, said light.
One day at a time.
Sergey I imagine takes life one day at a time. And what you’ve made of life is magnificent.
I was delighted to be asked to say a few words here this evening. Opening an Exhibition of this quality is easy. All you’ve got to do Folks is open your eyes. Let the magic happen.
To Sergey I say: Well done. Thank you. Congratulations.
What Lies Beneath: Nightshade by Sergey Talichkin
Nightshade by Sergey Talichkin, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist
June 26 2017 2:30 AM
From his studio, Sergey Talichkin loves looking out over Dublin Bay. Born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, he grew up a proper little brainwashed Communist.
"I wore the badge, the red tie!" and Talichkin's happiest childhood memories are of summer trips to the Black Sea, a 2,000km, day-and-a-half journey.
The Soviet Union collapsed "in my mid-teens" and by then Talichkin knew that art would be his life. His talent had been spotted early; from age seven, he attended extra classes at a special art school and later at Precarpathian University.
Aged 20, he begged his parents for a one-way ticket to "anywhere with a coastline". Arriving in Ireland, Enya and James Joyce his only reference points, what does he remember? "It's a bit fuzzy. I had a gin and tonic too many on the plane."
Staying with a host family on Ballymun Road, he went to a language school while he immersed himself in life, working as a kitchen porter and as a barman. Now he waits tables, in fluent English, three evenings a week, in a trendy restaurant.
Though growing up atheist, his fields, forests, water, skies and seascapes capture something spiritual.
"I don't believe in church but I do believe in what the Catholic Church calls the Holy Spirit and the energy in every single living thing." He meditates, uses the Headspace app, doesn't do negative.
New work, called Yugen, "a Japanese word meaning mysterious, don't pin it down, accept the mystery," will open at The Doorway Gallery next October.
Now an Irish citizen, he loves Irish humour, "Irish people are rough diamonds" - and how we live in the moment. Even Irish weather. "In Ukraine there are four seasons; here, it's steady, with subtle changes."
His favourite walk on Killiney Hill inspired this cityscape. Included in this year's RHA annual show, Nightshade turns sodium-lit Dublin into a jewelled casket. Though sky blue is his favourite colour, this is Dublin glowing in the dark, clouds beautifully underlit.
And photograph versus painting? "Painting adds depth and mystery". Dawn approaches. All those people, from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, sleeping, dreaming, sky blue dreaming?
Nightshade at the RHA Annual Show until August 12
Sunday Indo Living