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Black Sheep
Oil on canvas 50x50cm ‘Black Sheep’ is inspired by a scene witnessed in Snowshill, but a similar landscape could be found in many other places in England. A pack of sheep is sheltering from the sun in the shadow of a tree. An ordinary scene turned into an allegoric image by the appearance of a black sheep on the foreground, at a distance from the rest of the flock. There is some irony about it. The sheep is gazing at the viewer with great curiosity, whereas the crowd of white sheep seems absolutely indifferent to things around them. They deeply engaged with the usual activities: eating and digesting the grass. For an artist, ‘black sheep’ doesn’t have a negative connotation. To be a ‘black sheep’ means to be different from the others, to be curious, daring, and not just following the crowd. Could this painting be an allegoric image of Nadia - a Russian artist living in England? An artist who is not quite sure that she is accepted by the society, who is looking at the viewer hoping to be understood and accepted through her paintings.
Nadia Ryzhakova