artist Maria Biryukova-Dutton photograph by Katia Rainbow

Maria Biryukova-Dutton is a highly talented British-Russian artist. Born in Moscow 1976, she followed a successful career in graphic design. She has recently returned back to her artistic roots in the visual arts and will make her UK debut, exhibiting at the Menier Gallery London.

Maria was brought up in Moscow and had a cultured childhood, with Friday evenings attending the theatre, exploring exhibitions and visiting museums during the weekends. Although her parents are not artistic, (her father is a physicist, and her mother is an engineer) they showed her all perspectives in life and encouraged her artistic talents including painting and drawing, clay sculpting, and writing her own magazines. She even started a photo laboratory in a cloakroom with her grand-father who was a keen photographer!

One of Maria’s earliest artistic inspirations occurred at the age of 7, when visiting the famous Summer Garden in St. Petersburg, which contains many ancient statues. The young Maria was so impressed that she asked her parents to buy her a sketch pad, and then they had to wait for hours and hours while she was busy drawing the statues.

Maria studied graphic design at the Stroganov University of Industrial and Applied Arts Moscow, which included fine art studies, providing an early outlet to develop her own artistic style of working in pen and ink, trying to depict the whole character with minimal lines. During this time she exhibited her works in many student exhibitions.
She followed this with a master’s degree, with a theses on “Wine label and packaging design”, and then worked lecturing, tutoring students & undertaking freelance graphic design projects with Russian and foreign companies, such as Heineken.

Maria has also developed and patented a game for Disabled Children, for which she is especially proud.

Perhaps Maria’s creativity has been inherited from her great grandfather Aleksandr Syiropyatov, the founder and first director of the Perm State Art Museum, which now houses his unique collection of 17th century Russian religious icons & wooden sculptures. Aleksandr collected these when visiting many small villages while working as an engineer helping to build railways across Russia & Siberia during the late 19th century.

Maria has devoted the last 2 years to her artistic work, exploring and expanding her own unique graphic style, taking inspiration from nature, people and the character of the beautiful places she has been fortunate to visit: the Black Sea, Italy and Sweden.

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