Svetlana Fialova: her collage used to build the story

by Cass Art

Svetlana Fialova was announced as the winner of the 2013 Jerwood Drawing Prize this month. Her work is currently being exhibited at the Jerwood Space alongside other entrants to the prize. We caught up with her while she was in London.

How did it feel to win the 2013 Jerwood Drawing Prize?

It was totally unexpected. Now it feels like an expression of support of my work.

How has your work been received at the Jerwood space over the last few weeks?

I participated in the gallery floor talk this week, so that was a real opportunity to get some feedback from the audience. But my work has been really well received. People asked questions after Paul Thomas had interviewed the artists.

Please tell us your secret to managing your time between London and your PhD in Bratislava?

I spend most of my time in London because as part of my internship at Red Gallery in Shoreditch. I am in my final year of my PhD and I have passed all the exams so I should be working on the written part of my dissertation now, which I am able to do in London as well.

Tell us about some of your favourite art products?

I love working with the Winsor and Newton Henry collection, Winsor and Newton offer such a nice range of colours. The Fabriano Accademia roll is my favourite paper roll because of its width of 150 cm. The bigger the size, the better.

Give us a little insight into your method…

My work originates from my interest in traditional media such as drawing and fine print, which I try to transform into current visual forms. I get inspired by themes which draw on popular culture, the Internet, TV, magazines or stories my friends tell me. 

My working method can be described as a “collage used to build the story”. There is usually a clear idea about the main motif, the rest is then often an intuitive and spontaneous process.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on some other ink drawings that I have started. I’ve been offered a solo show in some galleries so I’d like to prepare a collection of works that I’m satisfied with. 

Stay in touch with what Svetlana is up to next through her website and her blog. The Jerwood Drawing prize exhibition is on at the Jerwood Space until 27 October. For opening hours and ticket information visit the Jerwood Visual Arts website.

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