Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Murmansk is the largest city in the world located inside the Arctic Circle, with a population of almost 270,000. To brighten up the lives of the people living in this harsh climate, artists have endeavored to decorate their houses and buildings.

Among the murals with northern motifs are ones portraying the heroes of Sami folk tales, ships plying the wastes of the Arctic Ocean, the polar night personified by a young girl, as well as many others.

1. A hypnotic gaze

Pavel Kuzmichev

Look at those eyes! Local artist Damir Bozik is behind this beautiful portrait of a young northern girl with a hypnotic gaze on the facade of a multi-story tower block. You definitely can't walk past it without noticing!

2. Flowers and Grandfather 'Bublik'

Pavel Kuzmichev

A cozy domestic scene: A young boy is drinking tea from his favorite mug decorated with a flower with his toy teddy bear next to him. For the more attentive viewers, artist Artyom Khazanov left a trademark detail - 'Grandfather Bublik'.

3. The polar night

Pavel Kuzmichev

This is how local artist Veronika Vologzhannikova depicted Murmansk's polar night: A young girl is holding the moon and the stars in her hands, which illuminate the houses of the city's residents.

4. Sami folk tales

Pavel Kuzmichev

The legends and folk tales of the indigenous ethnic groups of the North have found a home in a courtyard amid Murmansk's multi-story tower blocks. They are the work of Yakut artist Kydana Ignateva, who likes using traditional motifs in her compositions. On this facade, she has depicted a girl in Sami costume, a reindeer and the polar night.

5. The plaid shawl

Pavel Kuzmichev

And, on the other side of the same building, a modern-day Murmansk girl looks down at passersby, wrapped in a plaid shawl made up of the windows of the house. It is the work of local artist Maria Mikhailenko, who regards panel-built housing as the quintessential face of Russian cities. And the picture with the shawl conveys a warm feeling of home.

6. The Sami rug

Pavel Kuzmichev

A rug makes any house feel warmer, even if it is painted on the exterior facade. Artist Maria Rudakovskaya has reinforced the sense of warmth by adding a huge cat playing with an ornamental fish on one side of the artwork.

7. The bay

Pavel Kuzmichev

The neighboring yard has become a pier for two painted ships. Its author, Ilya Baidakovskiy (aka 'BAIDAK'), depicted a balcony overlooking the bay, with the hills and the trawler on another house.

8. The return

Pavel Kuzmichev

And this is the Soviet TKA-12 torpedo boat which served in the Northern Fleet in the Great Patriotic War.

9. The beautiful & the shabby

Pavel Kuzmichev

Girls with books are among the most famous themes of artist Andrey Zikich (who works under the pseudonym 'Artez'). They can be seen in various European cities. Can you guess what book this girl is reading with such interest in Murmansk?

10. A legend

Pavel Kuzmichev

Is it a reindeer? Is it a man? To get a good view of the fantastical creature you need to step a few meters back from the building. It's huge! It was created by artist Dmitry Potapov, who drew his inspiration from Sami legends.

Dear readers,

Our website and social media accounts are under threat of being restricted or banned, due to the current circumstances. So, to keep up with our latest content, simply do the following:

  • Subscribe to our Telegram channel
  • Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter
  • Enable push notifications on our website
  • Install a VPN service on your computer and/or phone to have access to our website, even if it is blocked in your country

More Beijing News

Access More

Sign up for Beijing News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!