Irina Tall‘s photostory: Girl And Her Dreams

Where are you? Why did we go there Echo, like a piercing bird, responded to her, began to drum on the vaults somewhere in the depths of the cave …

The White Sirin was cast out on a boat, a ghost in grey robes was sitting near the karma, the face of the mask was lined with the sign of Ba. The boat was cut by time and the arrows fell into fragments from the sky, it was sleet and darkness fell on the world, sedately, absurdly.

The boat sailed past her and she slammed her window shut so that the light as bright as the sun itself would not kill her, the tinted glass of the windows did not let in bright light.

She was still crying and her tears flowing down formed a small sea in the corner room, tiny Dolphins lived there, crabs, clams, there were two whales…

Someone softly rang the doorbell, she didn’t want to open it, came up on tiptoe, looked into the peephole, and covered the unknown light breaking through from there with her palm, she won’t come out, she doesn’t want to, she won’t go out for several days, she …

And something there in another room broke and the sea left, and the fish and crabs with it, and no one can say that it existed, not a drop remained …

Then the day came, a little later than the night, and after a little sleep, she went to her place… She didn’t need anything.

Somewhere far away a man screamed, he fell and screamed, at first she was frightened, then she closed her eyes and fell asleep, everything in mine passes her by, everything is like dust and it is impossible to collect it.


He spread a large white sheet of paper on the floor, but found no paint or pencils. He had rulers, compasses that didn’t have a thin pencil lead, leaking empty refills, sharpeners and rubber bands, a lot of things, but none of them could leave even a small mark on paper. He sighed, took a knife in his hand, substituted a container with a dried crust of an old carcass and made a small incision.


Why did they come here and from where?

“Before, there was no sea here.

And one of the girls, stretching, got up from the ground, and leaned on her friend. They were all thin and transparent, almost human, but…

– “They flooded our dwellings, our gardens!”

– “But they’re not to blame! They can’t end their lives! They too … just like us!”

– “I think you need to think carefully! Like all of us! Disperse! The council is over … For today at least.”

Their subtle bodies gradually began to disappear into the jungle to merge with trees and bushes, with flowers and birds…

Tale about her

– “Do you know the fairy tale about the beautiful girl?”

“The one that dies at the end!?”

“No, the one who saves her friend.”

– “No, I don’t know. Is she interesting?”

– “Maybe not for you. But I loved her very much as a child.”

She tilted her head slightly…

– “And then there was no sea yet?”

– “No, the sea appeared later. Our ancestors told us that it came from some crack in the sky, and that once the dolphins spoke the same language as us, and then we all had a fight and stopped talking to each other. The sea came from there from the big world and it was small, like a puddle, on which you like to jump in the morning, like a basin of water.

– “Tell me your story! I should like it too!”


He crawled on the floor for a long time, fumbled for a long time and tried to make something similar to a human face or figure, spoiled the paper and did not succeed. Then he turned the leaf over, looked at the setting sun and pink fluffy clouds and made a few strokes with a pen, outlined the eye and drew a fiery muzzle, outlined the mane and tail sprinkled, circled long thin legs with large hooves with round movements, drew two large strong wings with small feathers .


The doorbell rang twice, then there was a knock, and she quietly approached the door and peered into the whitish light of the peephole.

At last she dared to ask: “Who is there?”

– “We came to check the water supply, a neighbor from the apartment below wrote that it was flooded from above …”

– “Why are there two of you?”

– “We are plumbers and we always work together. You can check by calling our service.”

She looked around and found no sign of untidiness and decided to open it.

– “I’ll open it for you! Wait a little bit.”

She unhooked the chain and unlocked the door, opened it a little, sniffed the air, then flung it wide open.

– “Where is your bathroom here? Toilet? Kitchen?”

– “To the right! Go to the right!”

They went into the dark corridor. And the grey darkness swallowed them up.


“-That girl was very fragile and thin, such as usually get sick a lot and live at home a lot, they travel little and see little around …”

– “Is it such a feature or were they all like that then?”

– “It was her personal feature and she got hit hard by others … She was not loved at school because she was very smart, her parents did not like her because the main thing for her was logic …”

– “I think it was very difficult for this girl to try to seem like everyone else!”

– “Once her friend needed help and he called her for a very long time, but she did not hear until the boat sank, then the girl went out to sea, she did not see her friend’s boat and began to look for her, but she found … And then, she looked into the depths and saw the body and the boat, then she went down to the cave to the big snake and asked him for advice, he said that it was necessary to go underground.When she plunged down on her pie, she saw that there was light there, only blue and dim … And then she noticed the black river and her friend on the boat, she called him for a very long time, but he did not hear, and then a raven sat on the nose of her pirogue and told her that she needed to make a sacrifice … – “What a sacrifice ? What could she be?”

Raven said that any part of her body, and even hair. Then she cut off a lock of her hair and gave it to a black bird, he took it in his beak and carried it to the altar with fire. Her hair burned and the raven flew back to her, – “Hurry up, swim up to your friend’s boat and tell him to follow next to you, but not behind you, but right next to you so that you can see him, you can’t blink otherwise, your friend will stay here forever. Remember that!” And the raven ascended into the dark depths of the other world.

She looked around and found her friend, swam up to his boat and told him: “Follow me!” He didn’t recognise her, she knew that from his constricted pupils.

He swam next to her for many days and nights, she lost track of everything that was happening, her eyes burned unbearably from the salt water, but she did not blink even when they drank into the light, from a deep crevice. She took a deep breath and instantly drifted off to sleep. He turned around and recognised her in the light of a sunny day, and supported her body so that the girl would not drown, so they swam to their land.

– “It seems to me that this fairy tale is too long, there is little action in it, but a person takes a lot of time for one episode from his life …”

“There’s a lot of action, even more than you think! Do you know who that girl was?”

– “No! Someone from…”

– “It was your grandmother! And my mother!”

– “I could not even suspect that she was so young!”

“We are all young when we are young and we age with time. She was very brave!”

A warm evening came and put them to sleep.

Creator. Completion

When he finished, there was a crimson stroke of a horse with eagle wings on a piece of paper. He daubed the seal several times in black ink and placed a small, inconspicuous seal of his name in the right corner. 

Irina Novikova is an artist, graphic artist, illustrator. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in art, and also has a bachelor’s degree in design. The first personal exhibition “My soul is like a wild hawk” (2002) was held in the museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In her works, she raises themes of ecology, in 2005 she devoted a series of works to the Chernobyl disaster, draws on anti-war topics. The first big series she drew was The Red Book, dedicated to rare and endangered species of animals and birds. Writes fairy tales and poems, illustrates short stories. She draws various fantastic creatures: unicorns, animals with human faces, she especially likes the image of a man – a bird – Siren. In 2020, she took part in Poznań Art Week.

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