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Ancestors’ memory as art

23 March 2015

The “Bond” exhibition of artist Olga Boldyreff connects Russia and France not only metaphorically but also literally because a lot of the works were created with a thread.

Olga Boldyreff was born in Nantes, in a family of Russian immigrants. One of her ancestors was a Don Cossack, and everything that is related to Russia is important for Olga. She finds “connections” in almost everything and describes it through different of projects, techniques and styles. There’re drawings, prints, and soft sculpture. The process of knitting Olga turns into art – performance, she creates a new form, a new design, a new line.

At the exhibition you can see how the artist graphically mixed landscapes of Don and the Loire. The “Street Walks” series of engravings is devoted to Russian names of French streets and squares (Stalingrad Boulevard, Kronshtadt Street, Yuri Gagarin Street).

As the artist jokes, her art is convenient because it fits in any suitcase, and even in a small box. Now, Olga already here, she is drawing the outlines of The Bronze Horseman and Peter and Paul fortress using colored cord and tacks. As a result they form unusual, stylish and at the same time recognizable outlines.

“I visit Russia quite often”, — says the artist. — The first time I came here to visit relatives back in the 70s, in the USSR. I feel good here, my roots are here. And then in France I talk about Russian culture. For example, I organized several exhibitions in Nantes such as “Siberian landscape”, “Walk in the strange world of Dostoevsky”. “My work is always in between. Between Russia and France, between the two cultures. And there’s a part of my soul in both cultures”.

text by Olga Safroshina, photo by Vitaly Kolikov