Women we admire # Stanislava Pinchuk
Stanislava Pinchuk is a multi-disciplinary artist, most known for her pain-staking work in data-mapping the changing topographies of war and conflict zones. Her large-scale drawings have been collected and supported by museums such as the NGA, NGV and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs.
Born and raised in Kharkiv (Ukrainian SSR), she is currently based between Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina.)
Following her most recent work The Red Carpet, commissioned for the Sydney Opera House’s AAW Festival - her upcoming exhibitions include career surveys at Heide MoMA and FAC, as well as the debut of a new film work for ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image.)
- Where are you now and how do you feel about it?
At the moment, I am in lockdown in Australia - and I feel incredibly lucky to be here, though it wasn’t the plan.
- Why do you do, what you do? And do you think this has recently/will change (how have you adapted)?
I’m an artist - I data map the changing landscapes of war & conflict zones. I make large drawings, mostly - but sometimes sculpture, installation, film, photography. I am mostly interested in how land holds memory or testament of a political event. In the big upheaval of the Covid-19 world, and the wild amounts of uncertainty and precariousness in the arts - I can’t help to come back to a certain sense of optimism. But in the International Relations side of what I do - I would be lying if I said that I felt the same.
For me, I’m really lucky that I work roughly 4 years in advance - with museums, publishers, architects, film, installations or larger productions. That slowness accommodates a huge amount of research, development, studio experimentation and consideration - so it’s a fairly sustainable and long-term practice, both in material and personal workload.
- What brings you comfort?
Being in transit alone, with some exceptions. A scalding hot shower. A bath, though I never seem to find flats with tubs. Books… big time. Working with my hands. The smell of anyone I love, or fresh sheets on a good bed. Sunshine - in any state, in any place. In distress, a shot of vodka - it’s the Slavic soul.
- What are you listening to?
In the studio - a lot of Anouar Brahem and Sevdaliza.
- What are some current or upcoming projects?
For the most part, I’m currently deep in the zone of writing a book. It’s really wonderful - a real shift & change in both thinking and working. I’m enjoying it immensely - even on the days when it’s sending me up the walls. Otherwise, I’m currently putting together two museum retrospectives of my work, which both show new pieces. I’m working on a new public sculptural and architectural commission that combines archaeological objects and data — and a film commission and solo exhibition for ACMI. That terrifies and exhilarates me.
I’m also currently working on a really wonderful collaborative stone sculpture for the PowerHouse Museum, with Henry Wilson - a little proposition for the kinds of home objects we might need in a precarious future, and the decade to come. We’re making an insect and animal fountain that’s informed by the makeshift water-sources that I make as a bee-keeper for my bees. It’s so exciting to be working with big, carved stone.
- Sustainability is one of our core values - for all decisions we choose to put the fair treatment of people, planet and animals first. As a business, we are always looking for ways to make a positive impact and contribute to organizations that make a difference. Do you have a favorite charity you would like us to support?
Two charities: Calais Food Collective and The Woodyard Calais. Both are very small, volunteer run operations in Calais & Dunkerque - providing vital resources of food, tents and firewood to the migrants in the ‘Jungle’ - where I have spent a significant amount of time in my own work, and seen the brutality of conditions and law enforcement first hand. After the forced evacuation and razing of the more established camp infrastructure - these organisations are more vital than ever.
Given no protections to migrants sleeping outdoors during the cold weather of Covid-19 lockdown in France, where resistance to failed protection promises was met with tear gas & police violence — I would also suggest donations to the numerous legal volunteer organisations that service the residents of the ‘Jungle’.