I think an artwork… It must irritate, either in the positive sense or negative, but it cannot leave you
indifferent. Indifference means death. Some of its elements are similar to advertising: to attract
attention, draw the interest, the desire. To bring up universal human values, or to attract attention to
something negative. There should be a contrast, a conflict, an attraction of attention. Right now I am
working on a project, on an exhibition, dedicated to Bazhov’s tales. Bazhov is our author from the
Urals, he partially documented the beginning of industrial era in Urals. But I am interested in a
different aspect of his works. I like female images in his stories, the women who can be met in this
area. Bazhov wrote fairytales, positioned as children’s literature. It was done so in the Soviet Union.
However, in reality they are rather gloomy. The main plot is based on test for a main character. They
are usually men, unmarried, very talented, with highly developed universal human values. There are
mystical creatures that can be associated with pagan creatures, there are turnskins. They either
punish or praise the protagonist. One of the main characters is the Mistress of the Copper Mountain.
She turns into a lizard, takes the talented men with her, and either punishes or praises them. She is a
dangerous and attractive character at the same time. In my works I tell about her image, her
feminine power and sexuality. If we talk exactly about these two works, I can say, that this is a
traditional Russian headwear, called “kokoshnik”. In general, in this series there is a triangular form
present, which is associated with a mountain for me. It is a symbol of a mountain. In pagan cultures
there was a goddess of earth, Makosh, one of the most powerful ones. She was also pictured as a
triangle with one of the angles up. In my works it symbolizes a mountain, where all the treasures are
hidden, the power of this woman. She takes the most talented, the best guys with her. Those who
managed to escape were cursed for the rest of the life and had to return back to the mountains.
That is why here the man is pictured inside of kokoshnik, because he is captivated. Here, in these
pictures, the elements in the headpiece are elements from the old factories: blast furnaces. They are
adapted, but I wanted to show the contents of the mountains, their inner treasures, like precious
stones in a headpiece of a woman. And through that he strength, the power.