The first participant of the 2023 artist-in-residence programme in Vyksa, artist Anna Tararova avoids traditional mediums in favour of mixed media and misshapen objects found in the urban environment or in the forest, such as logs, pieces of tree bark, earth, and tiles.
Tararova's Everything Will Sprout project is dedicated to horticultural practices, which, in her opinion, are common among Vyksa's residents. Everything Will Sprout is an attempt to highlight the matters of neighbourliness and community support through the shared process of tending to plants. The dates of the artist's residency in February and March are perfectly timed in preparation for the gardening season.
'Through sowing new life, I want to demonstrate that every living being has an inherent desire to grow and live on in future generations,' explains the artist. 'I'm in the process of asking the locals how they take care of their plants, and based on these interviews I'm planning to put together instructions detailing looking after plants throughout their entire growth cycle for future residents and visitors of the Volna Cultural Center. After my departure, they will be able to continue taking care of the seedlings and later plant them in open ground in a small public garden next door.'
In the spring of 2022, Anna Tararova participated in the CCI Fabrika residency in Moscow. Her project entitled What Am I Sowing? constituted growing her mother's seedlings, which the artist gave out to the public to celebrate the memory of her mother on the anniversary of her death. That way the artist experienced loss and at the same time continued the work started by her mother, taking her back to family history, memory, rituals, and the concept of living on. Essentially an extension of Tararova's 2022 project, her residency in Vyksa also examines social connections, customs, habits, traditions, sharing of experiences, and compassion, but her focus shifts towards exploring how Vyksa's gardeners describe their many rituals, to the variety of recipes, methods, tricks and superstitions involved in the mysteries of germination.
'The multitude of ways for looking after plants, often contradictory, reflects the existence of a plethora of concepts – philosophical, religious, political – over which we have been arguing for millennia. They coexist and the world keeps turning. Things keep growing regardless. When it comes to the process of interaction, we can learn from plants how to perceive the viewpoints and opinions of others with a lesser degree of wariness. There have always been – and will always be – people with opinions that differ from ours, despite disputes and conflicts,' says Anna Tararova.
Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to watch the artist's experiments using soil, organic and inorganic raw materials as art mediums. She will stage a performance with soil and a globe, and present a floor mosaic with stones, tiles, earth and moss in place of marble – as examples of animate and inanimate life forms, whose arrangement comprises a garden plan and alludes to the archetypal model of the world. Furthermore, visitors will get to see the immediate outcome of the artist's residency: gardening instructions based on her communication with Vyksa's gardeners, project documentation, as well as seedlings grown using the techniques that were collected in Vyksa's horticulture hubs. Anna Tararova claims that, despite the differences in directions, everything will sprout and grow. The artist does not seek to prove the superiority of one way of caring for plants over another but on the contrary, invites us to observe the triumph of harmony and life.