Visual artist Victoria Suvoroff brings a compelling work to Gallery Lock In on Sat 3 May – Sun 2 June as part of Brighton Fringe 2019. StalkHer is a visual meditation on the artist’s experience of being stalked by a former lover over the course of five years. Within the walls of a gallery space the fragments of stalking are revealed as artefacts and items of curiosity and the encounters of stalking are recreated as ‘crime-scenes’. The secretive and obsessive behaviour, driven by deluded love, in an open and public setting takes a twist of focus and repositions the gaze on to the stalker. Stalking is an intrusive and intimidating form of harassment to which this art installation is held up as a means of empowerment.
It comes to Gallery Lock In, a platform enabling artists working in durational performance to open up a critical debate with their live and non-live audiences; its main curatorial focus is the social, psychological and physical boundaries of the body and mind. Since 2016, it has held a permanent space and hosts socially engaged visual art exhibitions. The Gallery supports emerging and mid-career artists, as well as giving a platform to international artists and those who are excluded from the mainstream and market-driven arts. As a non-profit gallery, it focuses on works that are temporal including performance, installation and video, as well as providing residency and workshop space for local artists.
We spoke to Victoria Suvoroff, to find out more about her vision for StalkHer.
How would you describe the work you are bringing to Brighton Fringe?
StalkHer is a way of dealing with the reality of helplessness when encountering the obsessive and uncontrollable behaviour of a stalker. It is my way of reacting to a behaviour which requires ultimate “non-reaction”.
The stalker’s behaviour is explored and questioned in original artworks incorporating ink paintings with printmaking techniques that represent an emotional response of the artist to the experience of being stalked.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the show?
I hope to raise awareness to the phenomenon of stalking behaviour, which isn’t exclusively gendered. I want the audience to understand how stalking can come in many forms, each one a form of a fixated behaviour which is repeated and persistent. It is obsessive, intrusive and unwanted.
I want the audience to be taken on a journey with elements of surprise, curiosity and beauty as well as fury, helplessness and pain.
How have you evolved as a creative?
StalkHer embodies my journey as an artist from the moment of my graduation show in Fine Art painting. The time in between the two solo shows was spent on academic research through my art-practice which only affirmed my desire to use my practice to express an opinion and raise questions and open a dialogue about all things I feel need to be discussed.
What do you think makes Brighton Fringe special?
Brighton Fringe has become one of the largest festivals in the world .It is an accessible platform for anyone, especially local artists and performers, which is very important. In fact anyone can put on an event as Brighton Fringe embraces diversity and inclusivity.
What’s your background? How did you get into art creation?
My background is from the USSR, residing in five other countries over the years and studying in five different art schools which has all gone on to form me as an artist. My grandfather, who I never had the chance to meet, was an impressionist painter in Soviet Union and I grew up marvelling his work around me. At the age of eleven I quit my music education in favour of visual arts and never looked back.
What can art offer modern society?
Art offers a means of connection to others, to ideas on the most human as well as spiritual level. Art has a power to induce emotions and enhances the senses. In the modern high-speed pace of living art offers a space to pause and reflect.
Victoria Suvoroff brings StalkHer to Gallery Lock In on Sat 3 May – Sun 2 June (Closed Mon, Tue.-Fri. – 2-7pm, Sat-Sun – 12-5pm), as part of Brighton Fringe 2019
Gallery Lock In is at 11 Little Western St, Brighton BN1 2PU