Vladimir (‘Volodia’) Petrovich Gubanov will long be remembered as an outstanding talented Russian Doukhobor sculptor and artist. He died December 17, 2018 at his home in the town of Nebug, Tuapinsky district, Krasnodar krai, on the Black Sea, 130 km. (80 mi.) north of Sochi. He was 67 years old.
|Gubanov 1995, Canada (left and centre) and 2014 Georgia (right).|
Canadian Doukhobors met him in 1995 during his 4-month expedition across Canada. He produced nearly 40 portrait sketches of Doukhobors, many of which were published in Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002).
In an August 1995 interview, Volodia said:
I believe the Doukhobor movement has a future. As a Doukhobor I believe that people must preserve planet earth. If people are quiet about wars, then there is no future for our civilization. (Spirit Wrestlers ..., page 223).Vladimir was invited to Canada to commemorate the 1995 Centennial of the 1895 arms burning by Doukhobors in Russia. He came with sketches of Russian Doukhobors, several oil paintings, and a huge mural: "The Doukhobors' Destruction of Weapons", oil on canvas, 100 x 200 cm. The mural was promoted on this poster-calendar 'Spirit of '95'.
|Click here to enlarge poster.|
Vladimir Gubanov was born in the Doukhobor village of Orlovka (map by Johnathan Kalmakoff), Bogdanovskoy district, Georgian S.S.R. — near the site of the 1895 arms burning. His father herded cattle on the kolhoz (collective farm), but later in the 1970s left for Nalchik, in northern Caucasus. The Gubanovs resided across the entire former Soviet Union and Vladimir’s grandfather was exiled to a Koylma gulag labor camp in Siberia for 10 years because he owned 11 cows instead of the allotted one per family and was charged under Stalin with the crime of being a kulak.
In 1974 Vladimir left home to study art in Rostov-on-Don, Moscow and the Far East. In 1989 he completed studies at the Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry. He eventually landed a job at the large health-spa hotel resort "Molniya Yamal" in Nebug, where he continued to paint, do interior design and sculptures on commission.
He soon acquired a plot of land less than a kilometer uphill from the resort to build his own art studio and home. Slowly it became a modern three-story motel apartment designed in the shape of a ship (from above), with studio (muzei-masterskaya) and gallery (kartinnaya galereya) where he made and displayed his art. In 1993 he dedicated part of the gallery as a Doukhobor Cultural Centre to promote the world-wide Doukhobor movement, where he hoped to host international conferences. The Gallery was incorporated in 2006.
- ‘A Russian Artist’s Odyssey to Preserve the Future’. In Koozma J. Tarasoff, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002), pages 223-225.
- Koozma J. Tarasoff. ‘The Events that Shook the World in 1895’. In Ahimsa Nonviolence, Vol. II, No 3, May-June 2006: 244-246.
- ‘Tolstoy & Doukhobors — 42 image CD’. Spirit Wrestlers Blog, Sept. 8, 2011.
- Владимир Губанов (Vladimir Gubanov), Odnoklasniki, last updated 31 May 2014. — Similar to U.S.A. Facebook.
- ‘International Doukhobor Meeting-Exhibit. Proposal to Build Bridges between East and West'. November 11, 2016.
- Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff. Images — paintings and drawings depicting the event (see image 6) in ‘Historic 1895 Burning of Guns: descriptions, selections and translations’. See image 6. Updated May 21, 2018.
- ‘Leo Tolstoy and the Doukhobors: Conscientious Objection’. Gandhi Information Centre, 2019.
- ‘Visual Arts and Nonkilling. A mural commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Arms Burning in Russia.’ #3 in Nonkilling Arts Research Committee Letter: Vol. 3, N. 1 (January - February 2019).