Noor van der Brugge Pushkin in Quarantaine

Noor van der Brugge is an artist book maker from the Netherlands

“Kitchen at Boldino” ( spring 2020) pencil, crayon, collage /29,7 x 42 cm)

In May 2019 I was working in the SPAR. I was in search of Alexander Pushkin. With the aim of making an artist book on the famous poet. I walked through the city as a simple fan: “this is where he really worked, had coffee, met his friends” but in the course of the weeks I noticed how many people who sat on the benches around Pushkin’s statues were probably talking to him in their minds. The things you discuss with a trusted friend. Pushkin still seemed so present in St Petersburg.

A year later I find myself back , working on the Pushkin book project in my studio in Utrecht (the Netherlands). We’re in a lockdown/quaraintaine period. The city is quiet, my agenda suddenly empty and it seems I work with deeper concentration than before.

Of course I think of Pushkin; he wrote some of his most beautiful work in the quaraintain period when he as at Boldino. There was a cholera epidemic in 1830 and Pushkin wrote to his financee; “I have just been told that five quarantaines have been set up between here and Moscow, and that it will be necessary for me to spend fourteen days in each; do a little counting and then imagine what a bitch of a humor I must be in.”

  1. Eliane Velozo

    Here you are! I am glad to see you here! I miss you. And I like your work!

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      Noor van der Brugge

      Hi Eliane! Miss you too! I was great to be roommates with you at the SPAR last year!
      Is your project finished now?

  2. Liza Ordinartceva

    Dear Noor, I’m glad to see you here! And yes, Pushkin is quite experienced in quarantines, so we can learn from him in that matter, too!

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    Nazar Niazmetov

    Dear Noor,
    So good to see your art! Thank you for your first post!
    I like the attention to texture and small natural tints…

    Despite that it is obviously an hint of the life of the time of Pushkin (and maybe Boldino), I can easily imagine this interior and fit it into modernity! And, by the way, I hardly feel so comfortable being in the headquarters… But you did it!

    I am happy for your productive period.
    But cholera is worse than moping, was HE wrong? 🙂

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      Noor van der Brugge

      Haha; I guess Pushkin just liked to mope a bit in his letters.

      I’m glad about what you say about modernity of the interior; I don’t want to make historically “right” drawings. But try to imagine the atmosphere…in this case I think Pushkin rather sat in the kitchen with Arina (the old nurse/housekeeper) at night during the quarantaine. He didn’t have a lot of friends there and of course, it was risky to go out.

  4. Cynthia

    Noor ! what a fabulous post! You imagery is “luscious” brings one into it. Reference to poets and poetry is close to my heart. Thank you.

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      Noor van der Brugge

      Thank you Cynthia! was looking at your work yesterday; just so good!!

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    Anastasia Patsey

    A great drawing! I especially like the pile of books holding the table.

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