Ekaterina Vasilyeva

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Project | Ekaterina Vasilyeva: Chalk

The White Cliffs as a fortress built by Nature for herself.

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Artist’s statement.

The White Cliffs are made of white chalk. The chalk is just like the kind used on chalkboards. Long ago, the whole place was at the bottom of a sea. Many tiny sea creatures died. They left their bones and shells there. The bones and shells were pressed together. They turned into chalk.

Heavy rain is not healthy for chalk cliffs. The top layer of the porous stone absorbs rainwater and becomes much heavier than normal. Meanwhile, the chalk down at sea level is being eroded by the tide. Eventually, the weakened lower levels can’t support the weight on top, and a slice of the whole cliff crumbles.

To invaders sailing from Europe, the sheer walls make England appear to be a “fortress built by Nature for herself,” as Shakespeare described it. Defenders on the high cliffs rained defiance down upon Julius Caesar’s legions 2,100 years ago, and again on the Norman conquerors 11 centuries later — although both invading armies managed to make successful landfalls.

Nature, objects and people around the White cliffs look a bit melancholic and frozen in time. By its nature the white color somewhat neutralizes the effect of poly-chrome flowers, and indeed the entire material world. Therefore it can be easily understood the sufficiently frequent correlation the white with the void space, disembodying, fading, with icy silence, and so on. To see the true form of the cliffs you must be ”dive” into contact with them.

Being there I feel thrown back to the very basics of my being. Unobtrusive colors and sounds that make up for lack of excitement in intensity. Everything feels huge. Loud and vast and wide.

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© Text and images: Ekaterina Vasilyeva.

Artist’s website: www.ekaterinavasilyeva.ru

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Click on any picture below to look at the project. Full screen mode is recommended.

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