With her “Touch of Time”, Ustina Yakovleva structures the chaos of human segregation from the world of objects, disunity of modernity and prehistory, of mind and intuition. Uniting paintings, graphic works, and objects that the artist created in different years, the exhibition shows that the streaming lines of abstract images and mysterious creatures of some underwater world were produced by the same metaenvironment. It is in this imaginary field that dreams, creation myths, folk tales, mystic rituals, wild nature, and contemporary art meet with each other. Having left
their natural environment, the fragile objects that keep the memory of diligent handwork broadcast to the real world on preciseness of time as the most important human resource. Time flows are like water that vitalize every living thing on the Earth.
For Ustina the process of art creation is like a meditation practice. Every stroke and stitch continues the body movement expression. Full of expressive lines and ringing colorful voids, her monumental canvases spread out, ponderate diligence triumphing over mundanity. At the same time, embroidery develops the graphic technique, transformed into volumetric measuring. The artist uses ornamental drawing and bead weaving to get close to archaic experience of cult objects’ creation. She gets inspired by natural shapes, studies domestic items and costumes of ancient peoples, as well as their ritual artefacts. Fantastic mollusks and jelly-fish made of silk threads and shiny beads refer to the male and female principles, taking the audience back to their mythological consciousness. Thus, ethnographic observations, flowing through the prism of the artist’s view, entwine with her personal experience and mystic codes of world comprehension, building a new artistic language. In terms of this language, new shapes are made based on the visual and tactual memory. Owing to the combination of artistic techniques, believed to be feminine, and her sustainable attitude to nature, Ustina Yakovleva’s art ideologically overlaps with the eco-feminism philosophy, the movement that has revealed the connection between the reasons of gender inequality and the environmental issue of the Earth. However, this is not about the author’s social attitude, but about organic intuitive entrance into the field of discourse by means of artistic matters. The delicate art practice discipline simply broadcasts a careful approach to coexisting with nature,
not calling for any political action.
The female principle is more obvious in Ustina Yakovleva’s works: trajectories of lines embracing each other reveal their erotism, reminding of the exposed Mother Earth’s womb. Elongated mollusks that refer to the male principle have long fibers, which in ancient mythologies implied the female power. Rounder creatures, the jelly fish, absolutely symbolize female fertility. Yet, all these thought forms are just starting points for interpreting the project. As Susan Sontag said, “Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art,” and this way, we’d better leave the works of art their right for self-assertion through sense experience.