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Nikolai Shmatko: "There's something holy and divine in this image!"
Nikolai Shmatko has already mentioned several times that after his relocation to Zakarpatye he is experiencing a new burst of energy and feelings. A new sculpture has proved his words lately. The master has remained faithful to the main theme that has run through his creative activity for the last three decades – he has glorified the beauty of the woman again. However, this work differs from the previous ones by a new approach, a new interpretation of the image. If the sculptor won our hearts by the women's lyrical images before which embodied such profound notions as love, faithfulness, kindness, maternity and which appeared before the public in a nice nakedness, this time the woman's figure has an unpretentious dress and is endowed with a kind of a nostalgic accent. The explanation is very simple – it goes about the first teacher.
This is how Nikolai Shmatko called his new work – "The First Teacher".
– This image appeared during one of the meetings of teachers, – the sculptor explains. – I thought then: there's something holy and divine in this image! I saw two faces – a completely childish one which was looking for protection, endearment, and a womanly one which is looking at the child with trepidation and excitement, with love and expectation: what kind of a man will you become, how much kindness will you have? As a matter of fact, the first teacher predetermined the beginning of the course of life for many of us. We can forget our other teachers but we will never forget the first one! I have not forgotten mine.
The sculpture is made of clay now, but this is only the first stage of the project begun. Nikolai Shmatko intends to make the sculpture of Carrara marble two and a half meters high including the pedestal taking into account the scope and accessibility of the viewing. He counts upon the citizens' help very much. The first teacher, after all, like the first love is never forgotten.
Mukachevo, 26.11.2012 (photos of Rafael Shmatko)