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Icons about beehives, naive lighthouses and rock musicians who have become monks. What surprised the RG journalist when he arrived at the monastery on the farthest island in Russia KXan 36 Daily News

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 14:45:29

I found out about Alexander Bereznev quite by accident, attracted by an elegant poster on the gates of the Primorsky branch of the Union of Artists. Inside was a spacious room, adorned with unusual icons, painted in tempera and gilt on boards and old shutters. It was as if he were in an ancient wooden temple, where holy faces suddenly appeared through the resin, the knots and all the flaws in the wood. In another room, a completely different kind of discovery. Abstraction mixed with naivety, you can’t figure it out with a hint here: you need to completely turn off the world outside the window to understand Bereznev’s “Repentance” or “Ptitselov”. He also writes lighthouses in a sacred way, and this is understandable: here they are like temples, a place of salvation and attraction, what is only the sight of the Tokarevsky lighthouse against the background of the rough sea!

It turned out that Bereznev, who rhymes faros with icons, lives and works in the St. Seraphim Men’s Monastery – this is on Russky Island, as they say here, at the end of the world.

We arrived at the place for more than an hour, at first we left the city sheltered among the hills, then we drove along the kilometer-long Russian Bridge, further in the reflections of the mirrors shone rusty ships and expensive yachts, military and abandoned ships . ammunition depots and, of course, coastal batteries – the world’s largest sea fortress was once built on the island. Since the 34th East Siberian regiment, which arrived here at the beginning of the last century, the St. Seraphim Monastery, the only island in the entire Far East, traces its history. And here is its spiky brick bell tower, like an arrow shooting out of a dense green forest.

A short man of about sixty, in jeans and a roomy sweater, in impeccable glasses, greets us, smiles broadly and extends both hands to greet us – this is Alexander Bereznev. Not a monk, not a worker, not a novice, a free artist in a monastery. “Are you at least a believer?” And how, he smiles again, I was baptized in my homeland, in the Estonian city of Pärnu, and ninety percent of what Alexy II baptized. At one time, Bereznev lived in Africa, then wandered around the USSR, and finally settled in the Far East. It was here that he began to paint icons, it was in the 90s, while some dreamed of a new life in the West, others in the East.

“I have been in this monastery for almost fifteen years, the rector invited me, they save souls, I save boards. Once I saw a seat with faces on an old boat, it turned out that it was made from the old door.” from our church, I sawed it, painted icons.- recalls Alexander.- And I also love to write in beehives, we have a lot of them, their boards are the most alive for me, they are so saturated with energy, wax and fragrance.

We go into the monastery church, illuminated in honor of Seraphim of Sarov, Alexander creates most of the mosaics, icons and frescoes here together with the rector, Hegumen Kliment (Krivonosov), since he turned out to be a professional artist. The image of the temple, which has already become famous, is only his, the abbot’s, his only masterpiece. In the middle of the forest, the old man Seraphim with a staff walks slowly, and only for a second he turns around to look at all of us. Such psychologism, and even more so such rich coloring, can only be found in temples painted by great masters. Nesterov, for example.

– Do miracles happen with such icons? I ask Alexander. And here, here is a cross for you, a miracle happens to me. The main artist of the monastery, Father Clemente, enters the temple. And it’s like a whirlwind lifts me up and takes me back to the 90s, to my native Nizhny Tagil, where the stage of one of the palaces of culture was given to the mercy of rock musicians, one of them – the leader of the Ovod group. , a favorite of the public: he is talented and handsome, remotely similar to Christ.

– Father, are you from Nizhny Tagil?

– How do you know?!

It all started with a passion for spiritual literature, and then Providence, it is not customary for the Orthodox to say “fate”, it was no coincidence that the musician and graduate of Tagil art graphics Sergei Krivonosov came to Vladivostok. Some searches for the meaning of life are conducted to the ends of the earth.

“At first, we slept in the temple, and the temple was all in ruins, and what only happened to us: you can write your Patericon, but everything is slowly being restored,” says the abbot. And in addition to graphic art, knowledge of music was also useful in the monastic dispensation – he wrote compositions for the choir. And what about the guitar? The abbot only smiles modestly. A little later, in Alexander Bereznev’s workshop, I still see six strings. “Are you playing with your father?” Again a small smile in response. “On the island, everyone has their own secrets.”

Over the years that artists have been restoring this monastery away from prayer centers, they have been very successful, but they plan to turn the monastery into a real spiritual outpost for praying for Russia. There is someone to pray, the brothers gather from all over the country. One, Alexander recalls, came here on a bicycle from the Ukraine.

– And how does the Russian feel here in general? – I asked the bell ringer, who was watching the downpour over the Sea of ​​Japan from the bell tower – the weather here is always rock and roll.

– We have the Roller Coaster nearby, this is the highest point of the Russian island, almost three hundred meters above sea level, we climb every year on All Saints’ Day, which shone on the Russian land. That’s where all the sensations are!

Alexander Bereznev volunteers to take us to the Russian heights, in his SUV the famous artist circles and flies over the holes, he takes his soul with him. And now we are already flying between two bays – Amur and Ussuri, an empire begins on our right – Vladivostok lighthouses and bridges shine there, and all ports are in sight, and space landscapes stretch to the left with hills , capes, with a cold-blooded sea, with a blue-silver horizon. Here, like nowhere else, it is clear that Russia is, first of all, geography, and only after history. Happy is he who in his life covers at least a couple of pages of a Russian atlas.

And if Vladivostok is still a city of beautiful women in love with their land, then Russia is an island of very talented and strong, but not so worn-out men. All together they make this corner of the earth incredibly harmonious. And this is a reason to get there, to fly, to get at least once to this beginning of the country.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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