Tamara Safarova

Visual artist

ResidencyBakota Hub

Hosting periodAutumn 2023

BIO

Tamara was born in 1992 in Kyiv region. With the onset of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I began my artistic career. My creative works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions both in Ukraine and abroad. The first solo exhibition of the project “Postcards from Ukraine” took place in May 2022 at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, Germany. In December 2022, 12 works from this series were awarded under a program supported by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany. My art arises from an inner need to explore the formation of personality and soul, as well as the search for my own Creator. I work in mediums such as oil painting, graphics, and digital art. The main themes of my work include the impact of individuals on the world, inner quests, collective memory. Honesty and boldness are at the core of my artistic approach. I find endless inspiration in the works of Ukrainian artists from the early 20th century and in the nature of my homeland. I do not aim to create illusory reflections of reality through realistic portrayals. Instead, I strive to convey information about human life in the modern world through the lens of personal feelings to future generations. I wish to tell stories about what concerns me and my generation, and provoke viewers to reflect and draw non-obvious conclusions. My research is based on the study of stereotypes and prejudices, cultural heritage, and history. I believe that without knowledge of the past, we cannot build the future.

Story of experience of risk, relocation and/or exile

I am an artist dedicated to exploring and expressing important social and cultural issues through art. My work focuses on themes of cultural heritage, memory, identity, stereotypes, and drug policies in Ukraine. Art is my full-time profession, my mission, and my passion. My art and life are in a situation of significant risk in Kyiv. My projects require substantial time and financial resources, which become increasingly inaccessible in the face of constant stress and threats to my life. Living near an infrastructure site leads to extreme psychological tension, accompanied by panic attacks and thoughts of death. This greatly depletes my inner resources and negatively affects my overall well-being.

Projects created during the residency period

The series of oil painting “Red-blue”, in which I engage in profound introspection regarding own thoughts, emotions, and states of being brought about by war. Observing these emotions from an external perspective assists viewers in their own self-reflection, foster mutual understanding, and relieve themselves of burdens. This series aims to illustrate how war impacts an individual’s psychoemotional state. It serves as a document of my personal sensory experience for future generations.

Residency: Bakota Hub

Time spent at Bakota Hub was a genuine pleasure. It’s not just a place; it’s a true embodiment of casual coexistence and creative collaboration. From the very first day, I felt that the residency not only provides a space for living and working but also creates an unparalleled atmosphere for exchanging ideas and collaborating with talented artists. Each day at the residency brought a new thread of inspiration and a fresh experience. An extraordinary part of the experience was the nature surrounding Bakota Hub. It became a source of inexhaustible energy and inspiration for me. Walks, observing the diversity around – all of it helped me reconnect with nature and restore my mental well-being. However, most importantly, it’s the people. They didn’t just become my colleagues but true friends and a support system. In challenging moments, we went through them together, and creative sessions became an unmatched source of new ideas and perspectives. Bakota Hub is not just shared accommodation; it’s a community that grows and evolves together. I want to express my gratitude to AR and Bakota Hub for the unforgettable experience that not only helped me recover but also gave me the strength to move forward on my creative path. It was exceptionally valuable and unique.

This programme is organised by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) as part of the Artists at Risk (AR)-Network in partnership with UNESCO and with the support of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Teiger Foundation.