Memories of Sarmatian Sea
— artistic research of the memory in its global geological way and in personal sense through the connections with the coquina rocks

The Sarmatian Sea existed 10-14 million years ago. It covered the area from pres- ent-day Vienna to the foothills of the Tien Shan, including the modern Black, Azov, Aral, and Caspian Seas. Crimea and the Caucasus were its islands.

Among the reminders of the ancient Sar- matian Sea are coquina rocks that were formed by mineral, organic and sand particles. Constantly changing in response to wind and waves, coquina sometimes has unusual and bizarre shapes. Thus, they are living documents that preserve memories of the Earth and, unlike books on human history, continue to change and record
the events. These documents capture the forms of the ancient organism’s bodies, but transfi

gure them at the same time.

The process of simultaneous capturing and transfiguring is close to the human memory way of work. Often the remembrance
of the event is far from its original. Time and other external factors transform people’s memories just like wind and water does with animal’s bodies.

Coquina rocks are widespread in my native town Stavropol. They are also common in southern regions of Europe In Soviet times these stones became the most prevalent material for the modernist’s architecture. The house, where I grew up, and enormous amount of other structures and constructions in Stavropol w

ere built from the coquina rocks. Fountains, fences, bridges are from this material as well. In some landscapes around the town the layer of soil is extremely thin, so the coquina rocks, that hide underneath, show up.

The coquina rocks are always around.

Entwinement of the Earth history: the movement of the mountains and waters, appearance and dissapearance of the living species; with the personal memories, connected with the childhood in the small southern town, is represented in “Memories of Sarmatian Sea”.

Here geological history and personal memories are connected and paralleled.

hand-made pigment from stones and soil, oil pastel, acrylic on canvas
150 X 200 sm

I can feel the sea, but there is no sea anywhere around. What once was the sea turned into stone, that will turn into a sea and back to stone again.

hand-made pigment from stones and soil on cardboard
Memories of Sarmatian Sea sketchbook, selected spreads

Field Exhibition among the real coquina rocks, Stavropol region, 2021
Non-Human Heterotopias, crossdisciplinary laboratory and exhibition of the same name by curator Daria Boldyreva from City Screpy with the support of Nordic Weeks Festival, 2021
Oasis exhibition, Sevkabel port, Saint Petersburg, 2022
Medium School, Formal Laboratory, Saint Petersburg, 2022

Organic Utility
— multidisciplinary project, based on the study of freedom, control and the impact of human beings on each other and on the environment.

Set of ceramic objects is the core element of the project. But organic utility developed and widened through other mediums (photo, 3D-animation, merch) by self-organised group of artists from factura furniture (Stas Iuzin, Danil Surma) and cotton creative production (Pavel Lukianov, Daria Nikitina, Max Svelkolsky, Olya Ogoneva, Katya Strucenko, Ksenia Bunina, Anna Rudaya).

Ceramic objects are the result of making furniture production process (that is deeply controlled) less influenced by person. The objects of natural form, that have resemblance with stools, counterpoise human with his quasi control of every living being on Earth.

Mistakes and the unpredictable had become the very essential parts of the organic utility ceramic set’s creation process. And the connection between the members of the group, who joined the project later, was more mycelium shaped, than hierarchic.


Part of the set of ceramic objects is represented in online gallery OBDN.

WöD Graffikkabinet, Saint Petersburg 18/08/2022 — 30/11/2022

Non-Human Heterotopias, crossdisciplinary laboratory and exhibition of the same name by curator Daria Boldyreva from City Screpy with the support of Nordic Weeks Festival, 2021

Cabinets of Curiosities
— ongoing collaborative project being created together with Danil Surma.

In our concept, Cabinets of Curiosities are the series of objects, that look similar to furniture pieces (literally cabinets or commodes or chiffoniers of the reduced size), explore and collect various phenomena and precious moments embodied in things. The way of this exploration and intercommunication with such Cabinet of Curiousities is always interactive and playful.

The concept and the format of the Cabinet of Curiosities refers to the Age of Discovery. This period of time on the one side is about the admiration of wonders of our beautiful planet and of the variety of species who settle different regions of the Earth. Another side of the Age of Discovery is connected with the horrors of colonization and the abusive attitude to the human and natural resources.

Time passes, nowadays less wonders stay undiscovered. Unfortunately, knowledge and technology have not brought peace to humanity. Both sides of being still exist: the light side and the dark one. While great scientist and humanists work together for the people and other organisms of the world, some governments argue and start meaningless wars. Living on the Earth in such a controversial time makes us think of Cabinets of Curiosities in a bit different kind of way.

For us Cabinets of Curiosities in the modern world are much more about the focus, about the curious and fascinated gaze on the things that are important. Some of these remarkable things are basic elementals of life, just like light, air and water. Others are essential too, but in another kind of way. The Cabinet of Childhood and the Cabinet of the Opposition to the Violence are among them. The Cabinet of Curiosities can explore the location or tell the story. It can consist of dozens of shelves, drawers, boxes and other interactive parts or be the simple wooden cube.

River Flow
— participatory project, where artists and scientists, who study waters, had been working together. It had started in July of 2022 on the banks of Neva river (to be exact Malaya, Bolshaya and Srednyaya Nevka) and continued for several months. 

During the research period artists participated in workshops and seminars of ichthyologist, ecologist, algologist, pedologist, entomologist, botanist, ornithologist. Next step of the laboratory was creating art-mediation, based on the scientific data, shared by scientists previously, for Saint P citizens, using the poetic language of metaphors.

For the River Flow I worked with the layers of geological history and their “ghosts” in the modernity. My mediation is called Neva’s Archives, during it I’ve turned the scientific narrative into the poetic one.

The subjects of my narrative are the “ghosts” of the organisms — previous inhabitants of the waters of proto Neva. Most of them are molluscs: ioldias, ancillides, lirorinas, but also some fish: river flounder and sturgion.

The “ghosts” were created from the raw clay and were put in the water of Neva river, that had destroyed them. Together with the participants we’d been observing and documenting this process, we also had created the “memories” for the hand-made album with graphics called Neva’s Archives.

Go with the Flow, online exhibition
River, archive exhibition, Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, 2023