A rare and unique, emerging Russian talent is spreading throughout the globe with exhibitions in UAE, UK, China and Russia with a goal to reach the interior spaces of
Hauser & Wirth or David Zwirner. Ludmila specializes in ink-on-paper artworks that creates a borderless and magical universe.
Q: Could you tell us a little about yourself and the first piece you’ve ever sold?
A: My name is Liudmila Panenkova, I am originally Russian, but believe to be cosmopolitan by nature. I lived in France, traveled around Europe, Asia and North Africa and ended up in Dubai: its urban skyline and futuristic spirit is what inspires me during quarantine and every other day!
My first ever sold piece was actually an oil painted ostrich egg, where I had to depict a famous Orthodox Church.
Q: What is your work about and what are you currently working on?
A: My work is about the idea of creating a comfort zone, Eden garden, where we all are equal, innocent and free. It means the world without borders, social and national differences. I try to find and use symbols such as animals, birds and plants - which all have common meaning in many cultures and create a story in the drawing.
Q: With everything that is happening this year especially during this pandemic, how has that affected your art? What are the kind of challenges you are facing and how do you continue to find inspiration and motivation?
A: I read a lot. Starting from fairy tales and ending up with classical literature and contemporary prose. Actually self isolation days turn to be my personal retreat at home and most productive time ever. I was not distracted by any social activities and felt really good! Undoubtedly some projects have been postponed till the better days but I was busy working on the commissions.
Q: What was a defining moment in your art career?
A: Definitely World Art Dubai in 2016, when I was rewarded as one of the shortlisted finalists to participate in the art fair. (Emerging Artists Award)
Q: Can you describe to us a busy working day?
A: Drawing from morning till afternoon, preparing papers for the sales transaction or exhibition, checking correspondence, visits to the shipping company and...drawing again!!
Q: Have you got any big projects coming up? What do you hope to achieve in the next 2 years?
A: I am planning to make a completely new body of works based on illustration for Arabian nights (1000 and 1 night). Hopefully to find a supporting publishing house to release a book later on.
In two years time I plan to reach out to Hauser&Wirth or David Zwirner-my goal is to develop in my niche and become visible for high end galleries!
Q: What advice would you have for aspiring artists? What factors do you think have contributed to your success?
A: Patience and hard work only. Forget about your private life, just work. Don’t count hours, try to get to perfection. And never give up from any galleries rejections, keep working, no matter what. To be an artist means to be a great unconditional believer in your own art. It will pay you back, even if your art is not the most trendy one. Trends tend to change.