Izabella Baikova, or Bella, belongs to the second category. She first entered the Festival of Quilts in 2006, and in 2008 The Tower, based on a personal dream, was one of the top 8 finalists in the festival, extending Baikova’s reputation well beyond her Russian homeland. Her work is now in private collections in Russia, Hungary, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, and the USA.
Bella appears to possess a highly romantic sensibility. Her quilts are based on fantasy narratives, several of which she expounds upon in the McCaffery interview. Bonnie responds: “Your work is very deep: there is so much thought in them, and detail. And stories!”
The Russian website describes Baikova’s process as a game played between her and the unknown:
Months pass from the moment of origination of the concept to its full implementation. This “romance with the material” lasts up to two years. The idea gains shape, is gradually filled and saturated with details, hues, gets colouring. And it is only after the artist takes grasp of the image that deprives her of sleep, that bursts outwards without giving her a minute of peaceful existence, that she takes a textile in her hands, to give birth in a short time to a composition that will result in your insomnia, the same way it once made Izabella Baikova sleepless.
View Baikova’s wondrous gallery of quilts, keeping her credo in mind (translated from the Russian):
For me it is important to maintain the freedom of a creative life. It means being able to release a life occurring on the level of concepts, to let it flow freely, to bring everything to it, without subjecting anything initially to censorship. To react to everything that occurs around, to choose from hundreds of possible thoughts, dreams, feelings and reactions, and to unite them in the single expression reflecting the moment, passion, content. When it is possible to work wholeheartedly, on an intuitive edge, the work has a psychological force.
Her work can also be seen here. I was quite taken by the conception, composition, and humor of Little night serenade 13. Allegro (named after Serenade No.13 in G major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).
A visit to her website will be rewarded by the fact that every section of this quilt, or any other quilt in her gallery for that matter, is clickable for a larger, more detailed view.
Izabella Baikova’s dedication to expressing the stories that flow from her very vivid imagination is made even more eloquent by her meticulous, elaborately detailed work.