We got a chance to interview a young self-taught artist Svetlana Bogatcheva. As a relatively new and rising artist, she tells us how she finds her own place in the art world, through spiritualism and by exploring. Her beautiful art-work is inspired by human behavior and Eastern philosophy, it is some what alluring to see how she focuses to stay creative in the highly competitive art world with harmony and self-understanding.
Finland based artist Svetlana Bogatcheva (1986) is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist, creative producer and a yoga & meditation teacher. Despite of the young age, she has been living and working all around the world, for example U.K., Sweden and Brazil over the years. Through the experiences in different cultures and environments she has been greatly influenced by the Eastern philosophy. Svetlana believes that both art and spiritual practices are very powerful vehicles that bring light and clarity to the world. She uses introspection, meditation and yoga as tools for self-realisation and this energy is very much captured in her art.
How did your journey as an artist begin, have you always known that’s what you wanted to do?
I suppose I have always been creative, painting, drawing, writing, making things like jewellery by hand or altering clothing. Later, expressing myself through the way I look, having fun with all that in London. And I also had my career in innovation and advertising as producer, still also a creative field.
I do remember how my own language now present in my art came about though, I think it was in 2009 whilst I was going through some emotionally turbulent time and was heading out to India to explore. The first thing I have made was many deflated balloons attached to found board and all painted white.
What would you advise young artists to do in order to develop, to get the best out of their creative self in a long run?
I think for me personally it has been vital to live fully, to explore everything and most importantly my inner depths. That is the source of all work. To listen to and express that which comes from inside you and be careful to not drown in all the noise from the outside. Still, now I enjoy other peoples work “ with one eye closed”, careful to not pick anything up from elsewhere. My work needs to be honest and come from within myself, a higher place.
Do you feel the competitiveness in the art world, how does one stand out?
As I am self taught, not part of any scene really and I live in a small town closer to nature now -I have no idea to be honest. I have always walked my own path and intend to do so. I feel that if you do have a certain purpose to your work, the art will speak for itself and find those on the same plane. At least I hope so:)
Artist work involves being creative and passionate, where does your inspiration come from?
I do feel like I have lived a hundred lives so there is already plenty there. I am also extremely inquisitive and research ideas, philosophical concepts, human behaviour etc a lot… but lately actually I feel even more focused, more centred and more grounded.
The spiritual work goes hand in hand, now many days I feel this current pushing through me and this constant need to create work and tell my story. It is bigger than me.
What does your work aim to say?
It differs dependant on what I am going through in life. For example in 2015, after the birth of my son everything I was making captured this fascination with early humanity, motherhood & the Mother Earth. At the moment I am working on a series called “Inner Worlds / Outer Worlds” . Highlighting how fleeting and impermanent everything is and also the process that takes place when you walk the path to self realisation. I believe this process of becoming more conscious is in the cards for all of us sooner or later. Also in my work, I try to only create in a certain meditative state- embed a particular energy into the art, so that if you are open and perceptive, it might trigger a certain process inside of the you.
What are some of your favourite materials to work with?
I do love my rubber and silicone but also textiles and organic materials. I have used things like lentils and oats to sculpt and for example cacao, earth and ash as pigments.
If you hadn´t become an artist, what do you think you would become?
My dream is to create scents one day. As sense of smell is so closely connected to memories and emotions it would be an incredible work of art that captures people on a different plane. My plan is to expand my artworks into realms of sound, smell and even taste as that are all the things I am into. Imagine an exhibition like that!:)
What are the things you had to give up or leave behind to follow your passion in art?
Nothing that was important. I believe everything happens for a reason. For sure transitioning from having lived in big cities and traveling a lot to a small town and raising a son on my own took some work in order to see the bright side. This has however cracked me open, healed me and given me the opportunity to create.
What is your favourite piece that you have created?
It is “Mother-Creator” that I have made some time after the birth of my son. It is very symbolic and incorporates oats and gold leaf in a contemporary icon, revering the Woman as the creator of all life and also the planet earth for creating and nurturing us. Oats and wheat are the first crops harvested by the early humans and still today bread is symbolic of home and being nurtured. Gold leaf is floating as a nod to the Buddha statues in the East. When you arrive at the temple you can buy these little patches of gold to show your respect for the Buddha and the principles he stands for, the statues end up being covered with little flakes of gold swaying in the sun. It is very beautiful.
What can the audience expect from you this year?
I am working on showing more and creating larger works, thinking a lot about quality and preservation of the artworks. Also partnering up with my boyfriend, who creates contemporary classical /ambient music which is very interesting and feels like a good fit, very excited to see what happens there. I have a show going on right now in my hometown Vaasa in Finland. A show coming up in June in Helsinki and another in August back home. I am ready for and open to the rest that comes my way:)
Interview by Suvi