Meet the Hadid-approved Australian artist behind Bassike's new book launch
Born in 1988 in Kharkov, Ukraine, Stanislava moved to Australia at the age of 10 and these days splits her time between her Melbourne studio and Tokyo. Decorative and intricate, her work is calm and quiet from afar but upon closer inspection reveals elaborate patterings of pinpricks and minute detailing. Her work has caught the eye of the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid and Cara Delevingne who all sport forms of her work in wearable, tattoo form as do designers such as Tiffany & Co, Neuw and Chanel with whom Stanislava has collaborated. Here, she discusses her third art book championed by Australia's most beloved sartorial minimalists, Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan of Bassike.
What was your relationship to Bassike before working with the brand?
Really, I'm just a big fan of the label. It was just one of those things that I was wearing every day, and travelling in a lot. Bassike shot a little bit of me in my studio for a project they were doing - and it just started from there. I had a great meeting with one of the heads, Lou - we were meant to talk about one idea for an hour, and we just ended up sitting for way longer, and talked about everything else but that! Just about different inspirations, lots about architecture, art, music, publishing, travelling. Which is really a sign that it's your kind of human. So it just kind of clicked from there.
In what way do the philosophies of Bassike mirror your own?
It's really brilliant, actually! It's so interesting to work with people who have the same approach and sensibility to you, but in a completely different medium. I think it's that same attention to detail, and minimalism, total consideration - and definitely the same easy going nature.
Who or what is inspiring you at present?
At the moment, I'm completely obsessed with Martha Gelhorn. I have an anthology of her writing, and every time I finish it, I just pick it up again. She's an incredible war journalist, who covered basically every conflict between the Spanish Civil War & Vietnam. She was married to Hemingway and has a really similar style of clean, resonant writing. She really knew how to keep her eyes open in overwhelming circumstances and her attention to poignant, small details is really powerful. She was so tough and resilient but so emotive. I think she's been the biggest inspiration lately, honestly!
Are there any artists in particular whose careers you admire? If so, who and why?
I just finished reading a biography of Constantin Brancusi, who I love. His work looks so contemporary, and so ancient at the same time. He really nailed it. And it blows me away, how in his career he was around all these incredible artists & movements in Paris, but never joined them. He just made his own thing; half futuristic, half ancient - modernist, but still so tied to rural Romania. It's really inspiring, and I don't think there are many people like that.
Tell us about Fukushima and your journey from inspiration to conception of the book.
I suppose the start for me was being in Tokyo over the years of Fukushima, but also being born in Ukraine right after Chernobyl. So I very much wanted to make two bodies of work, covering the two biggest nuclear accidents, both in countries I have called home.
I'm really interested in mapping how the ground is changed by conflict, and how the land records or shifts in that time. So the works are essentially big data maps, plotting those topographies.
The book began with my publisher & collaborator in Paris, La Chambre Graphique. She is absolutely incredible. I think we're just two girls who are low key obsessed with each other. She's an incredible art director, and we share ideas non-stop, so when it comes to the actual layout - I never make a single change!
Mostly, we wanted to translate not just the body of work into a book - but also the entire process. To have research photos, to explain the entire story, to replicate what an original work looks like. That's also why we recorded a conversation in New York with the artist Ian Strange, who was in the Zone with me - so we could properly share the entire process, start to finish.
What is the process of creating your work and how long does each piece take?
Each work begins with a huge amount of research, and great fixers on the ground - when I get to the site to record topographic data. After that, it's always a lot of extra research, thinking, drawing, scrapping, dreaming. Then it's stretching the data blueprints to beautiful paper, and hammering them in - pin-hole by pin-hole. As for timing - I never answer that one... a very long time is all!
What are you reading, listening to and watching?
Right now, I'm listening to Mdou Moctar. He's an incredible Tuareg musician based in Nigeria, who just re-made his own version of Prince's Purple Rain. I'm completely on repeat with the sound track. I'm reading Kahlil Gibran's 'The Prophet', which was given to me by my beautiful friend Wafia. We traded the books we read every time in creative exhaustion, so she left with my battered copy of Tracey Emin's collected coloumns.
What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
This week I've been between three continents, four cities - opening a solo show & three book launches. It's phenomenal, and a little exhausting. So now that it's all done, I have a blank slate! I'm home for two days, then I pack up & leave for Scotland, where I won quite a large art prize & residency. It's a solid, isolated three months in the Highlands - just developing my next bodies of work & making in the studio. I'm really looking forward to that now!
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