The artist about herself:
"After the graduation and till last year, I had been living in internal exile. I manage not to moan and complain. My serious attitude to miracles and firm belief in them as the central phenomenon of this world help make friends, find students, love children, cook for volunteers, and make portraits of political prisoners seeing in them modern saints (which is actually true).
At different periods of my life, I would have given different answers to the question why I do art. Initially, it was purely because of feeling high when painting. Later, art became my way of speaking – not just a search, but a way to express my thoughts and ideas. Now my art is neither about a game nor about the excitement, but rather about inability to stay silent and hide things that my loved ones and I believe to matter – injustice, violence, physical and spiritual murders, imprisonment, and tortures. Art merges with the processes evolving around, making silence impossible. From now on, it is only being that everything serves – either the good or the evil.
I am an outsider. In no way do I fit this society. Rebellion is my way of life – I am far from being a highbrow artist with a palette. I do everything either spontaneously or don’t start it at all. That’s my nature. There are people of discipline, and there are people like me – self-taught whizzkids.
My youth was more than marginal – I tried both drugs and rock-n-roll and believed that sometimes art was about that freedom. The freer you are, the more powerful your art is. Young contemporary artists lack it. They don’t have to lose themselves into drinking to find their mission and discover this drive.
I live in the times one cannot live in. But I do, and this reality is something you can’t separate yourself from, it’s impossible not to be in it. I find it important that my daughter sees my artworks and understands their honesty. Through my art, I address people however realizing I would not ease their pain, but at least they would know that both in the present and future they are not alone.
A search for the emotional and spiritual truth is inherent in my art, but I do my best to get rid of it. Emotion prevents you from expressing a deep thought because by evoking a certain feedback you risk getting stuck at that, purely emotional, level. Beyond emotions, another dialogue unfolds – a more genuine and clearer one, closer to the point. My art strives not to trigger emotions. I would like to express some memorable things. Like the funeral of a close person, for example, and suddenly – a barking dog. So, this barking is something I would like to put in my painting, and it would be neither good nor bad. Instead, it is going to share a thought about how and what brought us there and how we are going to get out of it.
There is one piece of art that seems to be of no value, but I somehow see it as the most important for me right now. It has been made this year and features legionnaires beating a lying man, women with kids pulled by their hair9. It is a genre piece with not the best composition – the women in it resemble clouds in weird chitons. The man dressed in white in a puddle of blood. The legionnaires that look like masked spidermen with red eyes. This painting is my response to violence.
Preparation always takes me a long time – I keep on thinking while getting my canvases and paints ready, it is important for me to have a lot of material at hand. I do not start a piece until I have gathered everything, but then, when all is finally ready and when I am ready, too, I paint very fast. It is like me hanging from the cliff with my arms aching from the tension. I work in a rush, at lightning speed, with exploding blood vessels and my hand getting numb. Daily baby steps or nine-to-five routine are not my cup of tea, I can work only I am deep into the process.
I am not really active in the artists’ community. Recognition certainly matters to me, but it is not that I can get there. Maybe because my artworks are very careless, and I am not meticulous, accurate or precise. I love my understatement. In the material itself there lies a process, an imprint of life, similar to that of a living organism. There is a movement made by the viewer’s mind – not by the artist’s brush.
My daily routine now is the Hell. I live in the hell. My friends are in prison, my daughter is getting crazy, my son has been forced into immigration and is now studying away from home – all these because the state can kill, cheat, and maim. And if in the past I managed to live a parallel life and to have nothing to do with the state, now it has become clear that we were living in illusion and, having seen the reality, we can’t and needn’t get back to it. We have lost time and are now paying for the silence. If there is any paint left on my palette after I have finished with my hell, I am going to paint a bouquet. I am going to use bouquets and flowers to bandage my wounds.
I cannot manage family relationships. No one has succeeded in bearing me, and my children are probably having a hard time. In art, there is some force that behaves if not as destructive, then as pushing the other force away. I failed to live with my partner, but I find it very easy to combine motherhood and art: if I were to choose between cooking and painting, I’d choose the former. That’s my priority. But the soup might have the color and the shades of the palette I wanted to have and might not be so edible, but rather aesthetic. It’s my artistic approach. And thus we would be eating flowers, not looking at the painting". – © secondaryarchive.org / Edited by Anna Karpenko and Sophia Sadovskaya (2022).