Photography and Digital Art Prize Finalist 2015
The General by Anna Gareeva
About the artwork
My art practice, based in traditional and digital drawing, is a meditation of my cultural identity, drawn from associations to and recollections of childhood, of Russia. Although I was born in the post-Soviet time, my childhood was saturated by Soviet culture; popular animations, films, iconography. The repertoire of Soviet references automatically feeds into my work, which ultimately becomes a fluid transmutation of personal and cultural contexts. This work, Генерал (The General) is part of my project The Little Prince. It is structured by the novella 'The Little Prince' and is based on a personal interpretation of the story, drawing from both specific and indefinable childhood memories. The interpretation, however, is interwoven with autobiographical experiences, and current and accumulated influences.
About the artist
Ania, a twenty-two year old art student at Sydney College of the Arts, was born and spent her childhood in Russia. Through symbols, references and allusions, her historical background constantly feeds into the images she create. Influences emerge from a rich history of Soviet film, Russian classical literature, family photographs and early memories, as well as growing interests in different cultures and styles. Ania continuously explores different mediums and techniques, aiming to develop and solidify an original and cohesive style. Her work is often described as whimsy, strange and quirky. She possesses a multidisciplinary practice - encompassing watercolour, acrylic and oil paintings, coloured pencil and ink drawings, digital illustrations, screenprints, etchings and photographs, and more recently, animation. Largely preoccupied with experimentation in colour, Ania explores the emotional momentum existing within highly saturated, deep and vivid colours. She represents the peculiar, the bizarre and the strange in a way that draws audiences to a new, alternative world. Her work is inspired by numerous artists, art movements, music, manga and anime, as well as different cultures, literature and films. The ultimate aim of Ania’s work is to visually captivate an imaginary world that is inhibited by biographically referential motifs that represent her interests, life and contemplations. She invites others into this universe merging Russian motifs, traditional print, posters as well as contemporary Japanese culture.