“I want this show to tell of my fabulous good fortune to have lived in Moscow and of the profound effect this had on me as a painter. I was assailed on every side by the Slavonic world – the very Russian-ness of Russia stirred me immeasurably. Sights, sounds, smells, (strong flavour of dill, carillonning of bells), horizons suddenly filled with onion domes, towers, turrets, portals, echoes of Islam, Byzantium, Tartar hordes,, decoration and idiom thrillingly exotic.
Who would not be moved by the pageantry of turbulent history, past and present, the theatrical presence of Russian clergy, followed by swarms of attendant black-clad babushkas. The well-known silhouette of the Russian crowd winter-wrapped against the glittering snow? I came to know Russian warmth, Russian humour, and to understand the endemic melancholy of the Russian soul.
In Moscow there are splendours untold of, dance, music, theatre, painting, puppetry, circus. Spectacles of every sort, Russians are great performers.. I myself was fortunate enough to have a one-man show of over a hundred works at the New Tretiakov Gallery, well attended, and well received, though not by all, and with excellent reviews in Pravda, and Novosti Journal of Soviet Culture.
In Russia, I came of age as a painter. One cannot forget the Russian’s love of nature, joy at the rebirth of spring, splendid forests of silver birch against dark conifers that surround Moscow, villages with deeply rutted streets. The smell of grass that is intentionally left uncut! I hope I have conveyed something of all this…..” – Piera McArthur