Art director Ilya Sizov about “Northiness” as a world view

Northiness is a Russian award-winning art project that reveals “northiness” as a world view: austere, sometimes severe, and at the same time, thin and fragile. Ilya Sizov, the project’s co-founder and art director, creates the artworks that are used in the brand’s collections as prints on clothes and supportive art.

Northiness builds its activity in the form of episodes, each either being a photoshoot or a video in which fashion meets photography, music and choreography.

“I’ve always admired the North as an aesthetical direction,” says Ilya. “Its colors, textures and forms provide endless source material for experiments and further development. In the Northiness project, I treat the nature of the North as an artistic statement, as if it was an intentionally created piece of art.”

“Therefore my artworks for Northiness are forms of dialogue,” continues Ilya. “Taking the nature out of its initial calmness and bringing it into the scope of man-made pictures is a way to talk to it. And by this juxtaposition, we will either see the similarity between nature and human art, or a great difference in them.”

“All of my artworks begin with the exploration of photos of empty, calm northern landscapes,” says Ilya. “I start with looking for interesting rhythms, colors and patterns, then cut out pieces of photos and play with them, frequently introducing simple geometric forms.”

The Northiness project has created five episodes so far. Three of them are dreamy photoshoots that pretend to be something like a look book but are more similar to landscape photography galleries in which the models and clothes act like catalysts, revealing the beauty of their surroundings. The other two episodes are short videos in which abstract electronic music is flawlessly combined with inspirational imagery and modern choreography.

“In the end, it is all about humans,” concludes Ilya. “We as humans contrast with the north as an excessive form of indifference, strength and placidity. That’s why in the artworks I create, stillness always meets instability. I just try to figure out whether we as vulnerable beings can connect with this eternity of nature and study from it — whether we can become less anxious about our future, our life path and our mortality.”

Ilya Sizov portfolio: http://www.ilyasizov.me/
Northiness website: http://northiness.com/