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Kristi Malakoff: Project Russia

Kristi Malakoff. Photo courtesy of artist.
Kristi Malakoff is a Canadian visual artist now working in Moscow, Russia. She graduated with accolades from the Emily Carr Institute in 2005. Kristi has exhibited internationally and participated in artist residency programs in Banff, Calgary and Iceland. During her Russian residency (Nov 2010-Nov 2011) the prolific artist is creating a new body of work.

Kristi resides at Proekt Fabrika, an extant paper factory in Moscow. The “cultural cluster” features contemporary music, dance, theatre, literary and visual arts. Several of the cavernous rooms in the refurbished factory host arts events.

"Agresive" in Russia. Photo by Kristi Malakoff used with permission.

In the spring of 2010, Kristi did a two-month artist residency at Proekt Fabrika.
“It was the best two months of my life,” she remembers. “Everything came together and the people were very welcoming.” The 30 x 15 foot installation Agresive (above) is the culmination of her artistic labours. Agresive is constructed with thousands of tiny pieces of crepe paper, each one cut, shaped and positioned by the artist.

"Honeysuckle" Photo by Kristi Malakoff used with permission.Kristi receives inspirational ideas from myriad sources: nature, books, movies, travel and life experiences. The extraordinary patience needed to create her detailed drawings, paper cuttings and installations comes naturally. The artist enjoys the repetitive rhythms and precise orderings of the construction process. “Each day, I set myself a production schedule,” she says. “Then I sit down with a pot of tea, turn on the radio and get to work.” The artist often works 16 hour days.

"The Golden Bell" Photo by Kristi Malakoff used with permission.

Kristi’s Russian Project investigates ritual and tradition in both a sacred and secular context. “Russian Orthodox churches are astounding,” says Kristi, “their use and placement of objects is awe-inspiring.” She concludes that Russia is the best place on earth to study the use of decoration and embellishment in the creation of wonder.

Photo of Kristia Malakoff at Maslennitsa Festival in Russia.  Photo courtesy of artist.
Although Kristi has Russian heritage, she’s still learning the language. “Of all the places I’ve visited,” she says, “Moscow speaks the least English.” Kristi’s artist residency is the only one offered in Moscow. This makes her especially grateful to the BC Arts Council for enabling her Russian adventure.


Kristi Malakoff received funding from the BC Arts Council’s
Visual Artists Project Assistance program in 2011.