Under Ice Gallery of Arts Behind the Arctic Circle

Scuba diver looks at Denis Lotarev’s paintings

The world’s first underwater and under ice art gallery began its work in the White Sea, near the village of Nilmoguba, Loukhsky district of the Republic of Karelia, Russia. And it was opened by us, the PHOTOTEAM.PRO team in cooperation with the touristic center “Arctic Circle”.
The first two expositions of the gallery are: an exhibition of photographs by Viktor Lyagushkin “Until the Ice Melts” and an exhibition of Denis Lotarev “Deep Freeze”, consisting of six oil paintings and two installations.
“Until the ice melts” was under water for the second time, but the art gallery – for the first time.

Denis (with a shovel at left)  and Viktor (in red parka at right) prepare the pieces of art  for the immersion 

The bitter frost, which fell below 30 degrees Celsius, could not really interfere with us: we had the experience of 2019, and already knew the problems could occur during installation, and were ready for them. And the super service from the “Arctic Circle”, and its attentive staff did everything possible and impossible to make it good for us and the visitors of the exhibition.

Viktor and Denis on the ice of the White Sea 

I wrote in detail about Lyagushkin’s exhibition, so I will tell you more about Lotarev’s work. Denis painted 5 out of 6 oil and pastel works under water. This is his concept: the point is not even what the artist looks at when he draws, but the world around us affects us to a great extent. And in order to paint pictures of the underwater world, it is necessary to be under the influence of this realm, at least at the stage of sketches.
The paintings presented at the exhibition seem rather abstract, but they are not. They depict the marine animals of the future, as they will become in the process of evolution, side by side with man and under his influence.

Viktor and Denis immerse the painting under the ice

The installation hanging from the ice ceiling reads quite simply: the underlying tetrahedron is undoubtedly a water molecule with inactive hydrogen bonds, and the babies emerging from the tetrahedron, connected to it by the umbilical cord, are all living things generated by water. It’s no secret that water is the mother of everything.
The second sculpture standing on the seabed is not so obvious. In it, the artist encrypted the essence of the warm sea current El Niño, which means “boy” in Spanish. El Niño always comes at Christmas with the Christ child. El Niño brings death and life to the underwater world, combining these opposites into one.

The entrance to the gallery is traditionally free. Its work will last until the ice melts.


“The Mother of Everything” installation

Viktor Lyagushkin invites visitors 

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