“The concept for the Summer Dress exhibit emerged last July, when I was walking in the outskirts of the village of Pacha and encountered a giant sycamore tree. The tree was not just big: it was huge. The grass at its roots was crumpled, as if my unexpected appearance had scared away a pair of lovers resting in its shade. I do not know whether Crete, the lovers’ retreat of Europa and Zeus, had an eternally green sycamore larger than the one I met, but this giant was so beautiful that it triggered the process of creating a landscape series that captivated me for an entire year.
Trying not to linger too long under the tree’s spreading crown, I went down to the edge of the river. The banks were so densely overgrown with strange flowers that the surface of the water was barely visible through the undergrowth. I couldn’t recognize a single flower or plant. It was as if I had been reborn — I saw the world with new eyes and didn’t recognize a trace of the former world I’d known since childhood. New sensations gripped me, and I felt how all my previous ideas scattered like dust in the fresh wind of renewal. I was consumed by the emptiness and simultaneous fullness, the intensity of another life, unknown to me before. Everything that I’d never noticed before became important — the smallest detail, and the weakest shade or intonation. My vision changed — or rather, its selectiveness. The plants surrounding me became a background: a large-scale set for the great mystery, and the pattern on my summer dress. This mystery created by nature took just one instant to unravel all the castles in the air I had woven from letters and words, and all the rules and conventions of the modern world.” Olga Tobreluts.