Tribambuka (aka Anastasia Beltyukova) is a London based multidisciplinary artist, award- winning illustrator and animation director working predominantly in painting and printmaking. Her practice is concerned with the themes of shifting identity, home and belonging. As a British artist with Russian roots, she takes a critical approach to the complexities of her heritage through a contemporary lens of feminist thought and mythological thinking. Her striking, figurative visual language is an amalgamation of the artistic elements found in Russian Avant-garde, French Analytical Cubism and Fauvism, as well influenced by the revolutionary spirit of swinging sixties.
The artist was formally trained in the traditions of the Russian Analytical school of painting at the St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Design, which opposes the canon of academic education and takes its roots from artists like Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Pavel Filonov and Natalia Goncharova. She inherited the structural approach to composition and shapes, reversed perspective and bold colour combinations. The influence of Fauvism, Expressionism and sixties counterculture add an element of disorder, emphasizing the interplay between chaos and structure that is a key theme in her work. Her background in illustration adds a fresh, contemporary edge, as well as defines the narrative approach and symbolism behind her compositions. These visual attributes become apparent in her She / Her / Hers (2022) painting series, depicting portraits of women in various contorted, geometrical configurations using a limited palette of bold colours. In her painting series Right to Rage (2022), the artist adopts a similarly iconic compositional style and colourful palette in her portraits of female characters from across various mythological narratives as a powerful emancipatory statement.
Alongside prestigious commissions by international brands such as CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Migration Museum, Tribambuka’s works have been exhibited and collected internationally in both physical and NFT-form.
“Having been born in a city and a country that don’t exist anymore, and having wandered around a bit and growing roots in the new soil now I found myself being concerned with the complexities of identity, belonging and home. At first it was quite innocent exploration of what Home is, but since the pandemic the theme has been turning darker and darker each year, revealing its shadow sides – first, home becoming a confinement, then – falling apart altogether. Themes of losing home, broken homes, damaged roots, displacement and losing ground led me to questioning identity and belonging even more – who am I when my world has fallen apart?
Also the horrific war that the country I used to call home has started highlighted gender injustice (among other things). An ultimate objectification of a woman is her body becoming a symbol of a conquered land, leading to unimaginable crimes. Gender inequality, female rage and resilience are taking over my practice at the moment. I’d like to see it as a way to process it and facilitate a discussion of the need of a cultural and political change. I like using traditional techniques, oil on canas, printmaking, charcoal and carbon pencil on paper, but I experiment with digital tools a lot too and even work with moving image. I’m finding it hard to lock myself into one creative field, and each project I take on makes me branch out into new spheres. I’m drawn to collaborative multimedia projects as well, working together with musicians and performers, as well as involving audience. I found that interacting with the audience and asking questions is the most exciting way for me to create work, and their responses stimulate the next steps in my creative process.”
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