Svetlana N. Kiseleva Sidorkina

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Ancestral Fibers

Thesis show

Я не подхожу к материалу с заранее сложившейся идеей; работаю интуитивно, соединяясь с материалом. В этом смысле мое искусство не концептуальное.

Я вижу свои работы как органические образования, растения- живые существа. Их можно трогать, они растут и принимают форму. Они - часть моего мира. Делание их просто помогает материалу принимать ее .

Параллельно сосуществуя с миром высокой технологии, они несут идею сделанности  руками. Мои работы преднамеренно выглядят  архаично, наспех схваченные грубыми стежками. В их телах присутствует несовершенство и уже заложено разрушение.  Они повторяют природу; временность их бытия очевидна. Они не вечны по своему существу в круге жизни, как стекло или металл.


I do not approach material with a pre-formed idea; rather, the work of art emerges from my intuitive interaction with each material. In this sense, my art is not conceptual. I see my works as living plants. They become a part of the natural world as they grow and take shape. Making is simply helping materials take form.

Even though we live in an age of precision technology, I want my works to look like they are actually made by a human hand. Perfection in art gives me the feeling of looking at a mechanically reproduced work, which always lacks the aura of an object shaped by touch. Through making art, the artist externalizes herself into objects outside of her own body, projecting her fragile humanity into the inanimate.

My objects reach towards history, not perfection. I embrace the stray stitches and the decay that is always already present inside a work of fiber. A fiber piece reveals its history as it wears out and frays at the edges. It humbles itself before the ebb and flow of time, which is inscribed in it. This is why organic elements are prominent. The , texture, and shape of a tree leaf reveal its temporality, its place within the life cycle. The mutability of nature is reflected in the fragility of my objects, which completes and questions the durable beauty of our glass-and-steel world. This is a special kind of making, the making of the imperfect; it is a process of creation that takes precedence over the object of creation.


My desire to create objects stems ultimately from an attempt to connect. My ancestors migrated to Siberia from the Ukraine. My nuclear family has now migrated to America. How do I connect my Ukrainian and Siberian ancestors to my American children? What thread is strong enough to span over continents and centuries?

The rituals we inherit enable us to connect with the past by drawing our attention to the sacred aspect of material things. Rituals go back to the primeval connection that existed before language. They transcend Babel and the pain of separation brought about by language, connecting us to our biological oneness. It is to this place of ritual and animality that I retreat to make my objects, which emerge into the world untainted by the isolating discourses of modern life.

My childhood was saturated with rituals that linked me with the passage of time: collecting mushrooms, berries and medicinal herbs, cooking, singing, sledding, and gardening. Stitching or crocheting is like the process of writing, tracing a narrative letter by letter. It is a mesmerizing physical process consisting of identical, ritualistic motions. Like the connecting threads in my work, rituals connect our spiritual lives to the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Working with threads amounts to tying pieces of life together. My mother has a ritual of tying all fabric bags and sacks with knots, as if each knot had some protective power. It is her way of meditating. In my work, I want to tie things together and tie all people – here and there – together, as I want my children to be around me, to tie them to myself and to my heritage.

We are all dependent and interdependent. Whether it is God or Nature (the one is worshipped through the other, his creation, in the Orthodox faith), we all depend on a higher power and are thereby connected. Yet these connections are not automatic; they take human form only through the unhurried work of connecting. My work is a visual and tactile expression of this work., 617.659.0581