Twin sisters from Minsk creating textile masterpieces

Twin sisters from Minsk creating textile masterpieces

These spring flowers with petals playing in sunbeams seem to be natural. The birds are singing and sap is dripping from the nearby tree of life.

Everything in this studio resembles a fairy tale. Cloths woven from hundreds of fabric flaps look like pictorial art. Nevertheless, it is made of cloth of gold, splendid velvet, and imponderable silk instead of watercolours and gouache.

Textile graphics is self-made technique of twin sisters Vera Blintsova and Lyubov Kirillova who have been creating masterpieces for 30 years. Their motto is “Not a day without a stitch”. The sisters have been drawing since their childhood. They graduated from an art school, received designer training in a technical college and then studied at the Department of Decorative and Applied Arts of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. They tried themselves in furniture and clothes design, nevertheless, the sisters wanted to contrive something new, as love for experiments and handicraft is their entire life.

Vera Blintsova, member of Belarusian Union of Artists:
Love to handicraft in our family is matrilineal. But the most interesting is that we didn’t like sewing in our childhood, on the contrary, it was a kind of torture. We would have been very surprised if anybody had said this would become business of our life.
When an artist paints in oils they can cover some mistakes, but we can’t. We hone intuition and sense of color and size proportions.

These pieces of art may be called textile stained glass or mosaic. Every fabric element is outlined with threads. This technique was earlier used in palaces for walls decoration. In the XV century, icon rizas were adorned with pieces of cloth and embroidered with stones.

The sisters follow traditions, but also develop their own technique. Every seam is laboriously stitched five times. Sometimes, the masters work with ready images and details, and sometimes, they improvise with stones, beads and metal. The artists get inspiration from the nature of their home town, Minsk.

Lyubov Kirillova and Vera Blintsova, members of Belarusian Union of Artists:
We are now doing an experiment working with cloth as if with watercolour splashes: at first, we make a background and then scatter some cloth. It is made with a sewing machine, which is sometimes preceded by hand work.
We like strolling around Minsk, but our most favourite places are Chelyuskinitsev Park and the Minsk Botanical Garden. We adore the time when lilacs and peonies blossom, saps flow, nature revives, and it seems that life seethes.

For two years, the sisters have been creating a work for the Belarusian embassy in Moscow. An incredible combination of cornflower fabric pattern on a metal hauberk appeared here.

The registry office of the Oktyabrsky district in Voronyanskogo Street became a gallery of textile art of Lyubov Kirillova. One of artist’s most significant projects is the design of white and golden hall in the Independence Palace.

Lyubov Kirillova and Vera Blintsova, members of Belarusian Union of Artists:
Here is a draft design of our three-meter high work, which was inspired by Slutsk belts.

The sisters are convinced that if people don’t fall in love with their work, a miracle won’t happen. Thousands of details, different cloth textures and adornments are perceived as a single whole. This is the highest skill in every profession when a process is left behind. Vera and Lyubov have been working on huge pictures Vesenny Tanets (Spring Dance) and Grad Serebryanyi (Silver Hail) for a year. Author’s textile graphics created a furore at an exhibition in Berlin.

Lyubov Kirillova and Vera Blintsova, members of Belarusian Union of Artists:
Germans like textile and handicraft. Senior women kissed our hands as for them it was a discovery. Nowadays, it is much easier for people to work with a computer and a mouse than make something with their hands. The work Grad Serebryanyi was conceived as a winter landscape with a church as a sacral basis of our society and a tree symbolizing roots upon which our spirituality rests.

The sisters see great potential and the opportunity for unlimited creativity in this technique. They want to conduct masterclasses and to teach the youth.

The artists adore cozy ample green Minsk and they admit every time after coming home from foreign countries they fall in love with the native city more and more.

Lyubov Kirillova and Vera Blintsova, members of Belarusian Union of Artists:
The city is made for life and for people, and it is the most comfortable place for us. Our residents are the friendliest and the smartest; our women are the most beautiful. We have a large work (meter by meter) dedicated to Minsk – Gorod Zolotoy (Golden City). After WWII, architects suggested building plan of the city of the sun. It means there should be the central square as the sun itself and streets raying out as sunbeams. The most significant and recognizable buildings in Minsk are cathedrals and Minsk Town Hall.
Actually, work is a kind of creative feed, which makes you feel younger and more optimistic.

In both family and work, people should bring joy and light to those who are around, should give some warmth and sun. We want to wish all the women to remain beautiful and to have some sun inside.