An artist's work and life are inseparable.

Here is my story of becoming a fashion artist, told through my work.

The process of creating this wearable sculpture felt like mixing a collage of memories instead of paint. 

Silicone.

A shred of lingerie.

Grandmother's silver cross.

Worn-out stripper heels.

Hair ribbon from the first day of school... 

 

All pieces of whom I used to be, how others expected me to look, believe and behave.

Now a shredded bricolage mixed in synthetic skin.

Ripe for shedding.

Pupa.

Silicone and mixed media. 2021

20210530_185258_edited.jpg

In this piece, I explored working with textile and resin to create a wearable sculpture. The material is meters of nylon ribbon, the kind that is associated in the mind of any Russian person with a hair accessory traditionally worn by young girls on their first day of school.  These same ribbons are customarily worn on graduation day, with irony and sentimental memory of the naive child they were then.​

School takes care of our maths and writing skills but where do we, as girls, learn to love our bodies and stand confidently in our own skin? This is a tumultuous and often lonely process, with which I am well-acquainted.

This work explores the inner relationship between my body and mind from girl to woman.

 

 

Nylon Dreams

Nylon ribbon, resin.  2020

Memories in Nylon
Memories in Nylon

Nylon ribbon, epoxy resin

Memories in Nylon
Memories in Nylon

Nylon ribbon, epoxy resin

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The Vision
The Vision

Silicone, silk.

The Vision
The Vision

Silicone, silk.

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Sculpting my "soul dress" with silicone and silk instead of sewing, revealed new forms that perfectly captured the way I saw myself if I had no body.

At one stage in my life, when I desperately craved a certain clarity of the soul, after researching shamanic methods used in rituals, I recreated a mystic ceremony in the silence of my bedroom walls at night.

The vision that came to me, was the most sacred experience I have had. It was of a self-illuminating flower, opening up and drawing energies to itself in its purest form - as creator.

Wanting to carry across this feeling, I took this piece to a psychedelic night in the forest with my friend, who captured it at sunrise. 

Lotus.

Silicone, silk.  2020

This creamy fantasy is an alter ego, splattered with silicone jam and sprinkled with cigarette ash in a plastic "Pleaser's" heel.

For this work, I bought a pair of tired stripper shoes online, second-hand.

They've seen better days.

I would have preferred to have used my own, from my three-day stint in a strip club upon my return to Moscow, but I had left them in the club, along with the cash and never returned.

I don't know why I did it, exactly.

Maybe because the move seemed like a chance to try on an alter ego.

Maybe because I enjoyed being drooled over by desperate men.

Maybe because it was the extreme other to that, which I had been before.

Tasty.

Repurposed shoe, silicone.  2020

Creamy Alter
Creamy Alter

Silicone, stripper heel, epoxy resin

Creamy Alter
Creamy Alter

Silicone, stripper heel, epoxy resin

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Silicone Skin
Silicone Skin

Silicone, silk, wool

Silicone Skin
Silicone Skin

Silicone Skin
Silicone Skin

Silicone Skin
Silicone Skin

Silicone, silk, wool

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Silicone, a material normally used to create imitations of the body lead me to imagine skin-like surfaces that materialized into veiny textures that both repelled and attracted at the same time.

Sacred Skins.

Wool, silicone, silk.  2020

Once I learned a method of making silver jewelry using wax to sculpt and carve out forms, I couldn't stop. Working with a small scale justified my obsession with detail and it felt like the forms were taking shape in my hands on their own. They resembled horns and branches, something primordial and futuristic at the same time.

The process reminded me of psychotherapy methods that Carl Jung recalled in his book, "Man and His Symbols", which involved intuitive painting as means of connecting to the personal and collective unconscious.  Inside it, seem to dwell age-old archetypes and images that reveal themselves to us through creative introspection.

 

Ritual. 

Silver, polymer clay. 2020

Tree of Life
Tree of Life

Silver, polymer clay

Twin Flames
Twin Flames

Primeval
Primeval

Tree of Life
Tree of Life

Silver, polymer clay

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Kiosk
Kiosk

Digital artwork on fabric, epoxy resin

Love
Love

Digital artwork on fabric, polymer clay

Torch
Torch

Digital artwork on fabric, polymer clay, epoxy resin

Kiosk
Kiosk

Digital artwork on fabric, epoxy resin

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"Miru Mir!", “Peace to the World!” is a famous slogan that entered Soviet press in 1949.

The slogan’s source can be traced back to an 18th Century Russian Orthodox litany, asking the Lord to grant peace to the world.

This epoch-transcending sentiment, present in sacred writings, as well as propaganda of an atheist state, held true for a nation that underwent revolutions and wars under flags of diametrically opposed ideologies.

In this work, I seek out symbols that have shaped national identity from past to present and unveil the pure essence of the human soul.

Miru Mir! - Solo show

Digital art printed on fabric, resin, polymer clay.

DorDor Gallery, Moscow, 24 May 2019.


           

The cross. The red star. St. George’s military ribbon. The icon of Mother Mary...

Logo-like shapes and their narratives, crafted by ruling powers with ambiguous agendas.

Bibles. Machine guns. Uniform. Newspaper kiosks…

 

Tools that shaped collective beliefs and behaviour.

Roses. Carnations. Flowers on altars. On memorials. On grave stones. In lover’s bouquets…

Ephemeral living beings that remind us of who we really are, making sense of our brief lives in this ever-changing, eclectic world.

"Miru - Mir!" - fashion show

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

St. Petersburg, 2019.

Svetu Svet
Svetu Svet

Digital artwork

look 1 MBFW St P
look 1 MBFW St P

look 10 MBFW St P
look 10 MBFW St P

Svetu Svet
Svetu Svet

Digital artwork

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Vatnik
Vatnik

Quilted fabric, rubber

Holy Mother
Holy Mother

Quilted fabric, rubber

Artist's robe
Artist's robe

Vatnik
Vatnik

Quilted fabric, rubber

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When I returned to Russia, after over a decade of living abroad, I felt an urge to make sense of the changes that have shaped a new generation growing up in this country.

"Cross and Kicks" explores contemporary Russian identity, looking at the past and present, from faith to God and the cross, to faith in "Future of Light" - a failed promise of Iron Curtain propoganda, to faith in nothing and everything at the same time, of our new, globalised society.

Cross and Kicks.

Solo exhibition

DorDor Gallery, Moscow. October 2018.

Growing up in two very different countries (Russia and the UK) has impressed upon me a visceral detachment from a single place to call "home". After spending over a decade living in South Africa, I have become accustomed to the country but still felt a sense of alienation.

This collection started with a tapestry of various skin colours, melting into one another, and the concept of "anationality" took shape in my mind, prompting more questions.

Where does nationalism come from?

If we are born as humans into the world, when do we start identifying as Russian, American or Chinese?

Are the demarkation on a map, determined by bloody political games to mark our personal view of ourselves?

Does the sense of collective pride, propagated by each country's political PR do more to unite or divide, on a global scale?

Anational. 

South Africa Menswear Week 2016.

Anational
Anational

Tapestry detail for collection

Anational Look 1 MBFW 2015
Anational Look 1 MBFW 2015

Anational MBFW 2015
Anational MBFW 2015

Anational
Anational

Tapestry detail for collection

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Liquid Jesus
Liquid Jesus

Printed detail for collection

Liquid Jesus
Liquid Jesus

Digital artwork

Liquid Jesus
Liquid Jesus

Look 1 SAMW 2016

Liquid Jesus
Liquid Jesus

Printed detail for collection

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Religion played a formidable role in my childhood. 

There came a time when the Bible narrative no longer resonated with my developing worldview and letting go of that which shaped my belief system my entire life was a personal and tumultuous process of introspection.

A long, deep look at the Saviour-figure started to dissolve his image into colourful pixels, bits of information passed down through the ages, embellishing sacred truths with plagiarised myths, melting as they tried to cling on in the digital age.

 

Liqiud Jesus. 

South Africa Menswear Week. 2015.

Trans > the prefix of transcendence -- going beyond neatly outlined social norms and perceptions of reality.

 

​This is where it began. My first collection. It started with the artwork diptych above.

The first is titled, "Perception", the second - "Reality".​

It was reflective of a very significant time in my life where my entire view of the world changed, warped, took on a fluid rather than rigid form.

The collection was unisex and the models swapped clothes on stage as an act of performance.

Versatility, gender fluidity -- by now these terms don't need explaining. Then, it really meant something for many who were there.

 

I left behind the comfort of the known, which turned on me and started shouting many voices, "wrong!"

 

All I had for solace, was the stillness of the unknown.

 

I started over, writing a story that was my own.

 

I was a blank white page.

Interesting to note: At this point, I named my brand, "Blanc". Later, I changed it to "Blank". First the brand, then my passport. 

Trans
Trans

Print detail for collection

Perception
Perception

Digital artwork

14_MBFWCT_SDR_0482_Blanc
14_MBFWCT_SDR_0482_Blanc

Trans
Trans

Print detail for collection

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