Nadya Sayapina. Letter to motherLaboratories

Nadya Sayapina. Letter to mother

On June 8th, the Laboratory of Contemporary Art ‘Mala Gallery of the Mystetskyi Arsenal’ will present the exhibition of artist Nadya Sayapina Letter to mother.

It is a white sheet of paper in front of me. Inside it there are so many words and images that I want to express, turn them into writing. I want to write in such a way that everyone would understand me and nothing would be distorted. But the multiplicity of views and perceptions can create as many readings as there are readers. And sometimes I'm scared that my words can be easily twisted, that they can hurt others. I can’t help but write, because writing for me means not losing touch with those who are not near — mother, dad, my love, friend or foe. Writing means to structure my experience, to give it away out, to relive it again, and to look from the side. On a piece of paper, I can at least ephemerally regain what I have lost — my home. I still write letters, collect strangers' letters, which form a long archive of different experiences and stories. When I try to think about why I'm still writing letters, I realize that I still have little hope of getting an answer.

The project Letter to mother is ​​based on the stories of people who had to leave Belarus and build their life in a new place. At the heart of the project are thirty interviews of people from Belarus, which the artist has been collecting for several months. The project reveals the affective side of the resettlement — personal experiences, feelings of home loss, helplessness and confusion, fear, uncertainty, and guilt. The exhibition presents a view on the common/different things that the project participants have experienced.

As a part of the exhibition, Nadia conducted a group workshop, where she invited locals to interact with the letters from project participants and to write their own letters or draw pictures about what people from Belarus lack in their new place. Inside the exhibition space, each viewer can become a part of the project and create their own drawing or text on the basis of the letters placed here. Through the practice of co-writing and drawing, the artist appeals to the sharing of painful experiences and empathy and creates a space for further dialogue.

The project was implemented in the course of the artist’s residency organized by Mystetskyi Arsenal and Goethe-Institut in Ukraine.

Curator: Natasha Chychasova.

Nadia Sayapina is an artist and art tutor who works with different media — performance, multimedia, installations, painting, text, art therapy. In her practice, she focuses on mediation practices as an opportunity to express the voices of "others". On September 7th, 2020, the artist was detained at home and sentenced to 15 days for participating in collective artistic action against violence. In October, Sayapina left Belarus. Now she is based in Kyiv.

The exhibition will be open for visiting from June 8th to July 4th, 2021.
Free entrance.

Open hours:
Tuesday-Sunday, 12:00 - 20:00
Monday - closed