The windows of the studio overlook the shady courtyard. Irina Brel and I sit there on a bench under a hydrangea bush and drink coffee. Summer turns to autumn, the rowans are red like fire. Irina talks about art, absolute happiness and wordless communication.
— Irina, what are you doing in Prohram?
— I am an artist and designer.
— How did you end up here? Why did you choose church art?
— This is because of the lucky accidents. Or maybe it was the logical outcome, I'm not sure. I always wanted to draw, as long as I can remember. And it was all leading to church art one way or another. I did mosaics, decorative plastering. I discovered a lot of interesting interiors doing that. And yes, I always wanted to work with the church spaces. I liked frescoes, mosaics and icon painting the most. Even in art school I expected that one day I will work with it.
— Are your parents also artists?
— They are doctors. And they wanted me to be a doctor too. Maybe as a doctor I could speak their language. They always discussed medical issues, it was only natural for them. But I "escaped" it, and my parents gave me their blessing to be an artist.
— Where did you study?
— First in the art school in Barysau, my hometown. Then in the Glebov Art College in Minsk. After that, I studied monumental and decorative arts in the Academy for nine years. These were long studies. When I finished the Academy of Arts I already had three daughters.