Monday, 7 February 2011

The Firebird

The Firebird from Russian folklore
I drew this sketch of a Firebird laddy last year, inspired by the beguiling drawings of Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin. The Firebird is a magical bird with iridescent feathers, who can be glimpsed in Slavic folklore pinching apples from the King's garden. At the Diaghilev exhibition at the V&A Museum, where I dream drifted in December, there was a whole room dedicated to a ballet of the Firebird. A ceiling high painted backdrop of Aladdin~esque buildings and a video roll of photographs... swirling fabric feathers and multicoloured wings... it was magical. I sailed home with a treasure, a compilation of Russian faerytales illustrated by Bilibin, the original cover of which was nestled behind glass in the exhibition, and a black pencil tipped with a glittering green jewel... I think a twinkle from the Firebird's feather.

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