La Foresta is changing with every season as the real forest does. Every new spring, summer, autumn and winter it celebrates changing seasons of nature and of our lives. As snow melts away, as buds turn into leaves, as leaves start to change colour, as they fly away with the wind, as new buds are born - at the turn of each season we invite a different artist to create a portrait of la Foresta in summer, autumn, spring or winter. Each creator's image will represent la Foresta online for three months and later will become part of the permanent Museum of Seasons. During these three months Visual Strolls becomes an online gallery, a visual viewing room, exhibiting the work of the invited artist. 

We are interested in a larger context of art and creativity in society, in looking at these in a broader sense, as forces that change our state of attention. That’s why we started Visual Strolls. We want to invite you to join us and never stop looking at the world from new perspectives, as it unfolds around and inside of us, as one state of being is continuously being replaced by another in cyclical circularity. We invite you to contemplate the world anew with us through the eyes of the artists. Artists we invite come from very different backgrounds, personal, cultural and professional, some are known, some are just beginning their work, some live in cities, some in villages, some paint, some draw, some stich. What unites these visual creators is their affinity with nature and poetry of their perception. To continue reading our reflections on arts entering life click here.

SPRING this year is brought to la Foresta by Olya Leontieva, a visual artist based in Moscow. Tenderness and sensitivity in the way Olya perceives and expresses her impressions of nature moved us to invite her to bring this year’s delicate spring to LaForesta. To explore rhythms, textures and colours of Olya’s work, as well as to read her personal reflections on her connection to forests, stroll on.

La Foresta Portrait by Olya Leontieva: Spring 2019

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Я чувствую очень сильную связь с природой, с погодой, с временем суток. Всегда, каждый день, каждую минуту. Мне нужен свет, мне нужен воздух, мне нужен лес. Я достаточно много времени провожу в лесу, и хорошо его помню и понимаю, и он теперь со мной всегда. Просто нужно найти к нему дорогу.

Живя в городе, я очень устаю от прямых линий и гладких поверхностей. И часто чувствую, что мне нужен отдых. Я внимательно смотрю на ветку, лист или лимон и весь большой лес возвращается ко мне.

Лес дал мне как художнику бесконечно важное - язык на котором я рисую. Цвет и ритм. Всегда разный, живой неравномерный, неровный. Чёткого плана нет и не может быть. Штрихи, движения, колыхания травы и веток, шорох и шелест. Мягкость, шероховатость - невероятная разнообразная фактура. Гладкое, колючее, шершавое. Одновременно, почти неосязаемое - как звук или танец, и при этом очень тактильное.

Всё это постепенно стало моим набором слов и знаков, и теперь даже если я рисую чашку или портрет, там всегда есть лес. Кажется, я вижу и чувствую и пересказываю мир именно через призму леса, который всегда у меня внутри.
— Olya Leontieva
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I feel a very strong connection with nature, with the weather, with time of day. Always, every day, every minute. I need light, I need air, I need the forest. I spend a lot of time in the forest, and I remember it well and understand it, and now it is always with me. I need to find my way to it again and again.

Living in the city, I am very tired of straight lines and smooth surfaces. And I often feel that I need to rest. I look carefully at a branch, a leaf or a lemon, and the whole big forest comes back to me.

The forest gave me, as an artist, an infinitely important language in which I draw. Color and rhythm. Always different, lively, uneven, erratic. There is no clear plan and there cannot be one. Streaks, movements, swaying of grass and branches, rustling and bustling. Softness, roughness - an incredible variety of texture. Smooth, prickly, rough. Simultaneously, almost intangible - as a sound or dance, and thus very tactile.

All this gradually became my set of words and signs, and now even if I draw a cup or a portrait, there is always a forest. It seems that I see and feel and share my world through the prism of the forest, which is always inside me.
— Olya Leontieva

Cover image by Olya Leontieva