5 – 16 March 2019
Hayles, 65a Sheen Lane London SW14 8AD
A Retreat Colony
lacquer and oil on board
The flags that surround the colony are inspired by Buddhist flags. This draws upon the idea that Buddhism is the only way to treat brutality. The artist only identifies one figure in front, of a man and a dog. This is the artist’s friend, who is currently in prison and the painting represents hope for him.
Hayles presents 'Russia, Prisons & Belief: Nikita Pozdnyakov', an exhibition of 12 paintings by this groundbreaking Russian artist and his first outside Russia.
Nikita Pozdnyakov, Video of work with English subtitles, 2018
(click image to watch)
Nikita Pozdnyakov is a Siberian artist from Omsk, currently working in St. Petersburg. His art is a blend of expressionism and social realism that reflects on a variety of current political and social issues in Russia today. The subjects at hand include narcotics abuse among Russia’s youth; the depreciation of Christianity due to its connection to the political regime; and the brutality in Russian prisons, especially towards those with non-traditional views.
Using provincial Russia as a backdrop for his explorations, Nikita manages to introduce new colour and perspective without trivializing the trauma of contemporary Russian life. As opposed to a lot of Russian people, Nikita has not lost faith and has instead converted to Buddhism and started to apply its worldview to his work. In one work, for example, he replaces the brutality and constant torture of Russian prisons with bright Buddhist temples, introducing a sense of peace and hope.