Night­shade

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - ARTS -

by Sergey Talichkin

Oil on can­vas Cour­tesy of the artist

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

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