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Art driven by music

By Sarah Coyne

Upon entering Russian artist Ludmila Budanov’s studio, the sound of classical music fills the room. The fusion of music and art is what makes Budanov stand out after having studied the violin, piano and conducting for 19 years. Before meeting her I have much admired her paintings but I was unaware of the link between music and art in her work. Without exception, she always paints to music and every little flick of the brush reflects the tempo of that music.

“The rhythm of the music is reflected in my art. I find that listening to a forte will also inspire bright colours,” says Budanov. She started painting over 20 years ago and with her husband, a pilot, she left her home in Russia and lived in many countries before deciding to settle in Cyprus nearly 18 years ago. Based in Limassol she now travels the world attending exhibitions to sell her work.

In the last two years, Budanov has been invited to exhibit at The Taipei Taiwan Art Revolution Art Fair and the Guangzhou China 23 Art Fair. These exhibitions are very different from European ones and are attended by thousands and thousands of Asian buyers and art experts. For Budanov, this means communicating with her buyers through translators and such was the admiration of her work on her last trip she was invited to stay for two months all expenses paid just to paint in a studio. Budanov was not initially keen to stay but she wondered why she had received such a generous offer. One of her translators told her it was so that others could copy and learn her unique style in China. She is returning this year to another major art fair in Asia.

Her style is certainly unique and she takes much inspiration from Cyprus with its sea, rivers and waterfalls. A lot of her work also concentrates on the theme of underwater with emphasis on the flora and fauna. Recreating her style would surely be difficult as it is incredible how she reflects movement. Movement is a word which you would most certainly associate with her work and it is easy to spot a moving Budanov at exhibitions. One of her biggest influences in Cyprus are the Chantara Falls at Fini Village, where she bravely regularly swims even in the winter months. For Budanov many of her colours are inspired by this beautiful landscape.

Budanov’s current exhibition at Peter’s Gallery in Limassol is called Where Colour and Music Meet. Many of the works in it are named after music such as Melody and Rhapsody. With the dramatic content of much of her work it comes as no surprise that when asked who her favourite classical musician is, she replies Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who has inspired many of her paintings through his music. Another artistic influence which can clearly be observed in her work is the British artist Joseph Turner. It is most apparent in her use of light and movement. The phrase ‘unique style’ is overused with artists – but in Budanov’s case it is very appropriate.


Where Colour and Music Meet

Peter’s Gallery, 31 Ioanni Polemi St, Limassol. Until April 3. 10am-6.30pm. Tel: 25 384804

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