Check out Natalia Nikoulina’s exhibition being held in ArtFix – Woolwich from November 29th until December 13th.
An Artist’s Statement
As a child, my favourite book was Alice in Wonderland, as it is a classic example of the intertwining of fantasy with reality. It offered a chance to escape from the drab, monotonous realism of the grey days of the Soviet Union and jump into an idealistic, colourful, enjoyable country of fantasy. In my creative work I, aim to blend fantasy and reality, giving viewers a chance to interpret it for what it can be, why it is how it is and whether they agree with the image being presented.
The aim of my art is to neither describe nor prescribe but rather to ask the viewer to attach their own preconceived ideas to a piece of art which has a multi-faceted possibility for meaning.
Ultimately, it is not my job to tell the viewer what to think, but rather to get them to critique and analyse their thoughts. The voice of the artist is important to society, as freedom of expression is an expectation in this field, whereas it is a taboo with other subjects. It is not only aesthetic art that does this but also music, philosophy, writing, poetry and dramatic arts.
Whereas the sciences offer a dogmatic approach to what is and isn’t; I believe it is the job of the artist to ask what could be, what should be and what could change. Whether a cry, a whisper or a whimper, art helps to shape public consciousness. It gives us a reason to question the world around us, provoke change and make everybody’s life a little better.
Artistic expression can be deduced from structure and presentation and can take any or even no form (i.e. conceptual art). Historically, art predates its own definition. The realisation of artistic expression is an awareness of a developed mind, which is commonly attributed to an intellectual grasp of the underlying constraints of the societal structure.
I am inspired by nature; namely the struggle and co-operation in the world of plants and people. I am also interested in social and political aspects such as immigration and the power of visual propaganda. Folk Art also plays a role in my creativity; however, I feel that this has far less to do with intention. Rather, my background and history mean that folk elements naturally find their way into the majority of my work.
Creativity, in my opinion, goes hand in hand with self-realisation, which brings harmony into my life. That’s what makes my dreams come true, regardless of if those dreams are sometimes just painted on paper.
An artist could spend their whole life trying to make a name for themselves, questioning the validity and longevity of their art. However, time is the only real judge of what art truly is.