About the artist:
Sima Vassilieva was born in Ukraine in 1954. A graduate of Moscow State University she has been painting since 1980 and has taken part in numerous prestigious exhibitions. She works on wooden boards, with an unusual technique, creating colour-saturated pictures infused humour and a sense of the grotesque, combined with deep lyricism.
Having moved to Britain from Moscow in the 1990s, Vassilieva began collaborating with Scottish sculptor Tim Stead, painting on carved wooden objects from his workshop. The natural beauty of the ring and grain pattern flowing through the timber was used by Vassilieva’s as a starting point to create organic and often abstract pictorial elements arranged in fluid compositions.
Vassilieva's more recent work relates to the Sotz-Art movement, which inspired her to create a gallery of Soviet characters painted on wooden scoops (the Russian word for scoop is "Sovok", which also stands for a "Soviet person" or one that has retained the old Soviet mentality).
Vassilieva’s works are held in private collections in Germany, France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Italy, USA, and Russia. She has been based in London since 1990.
Svetlana Stephenson is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the London Metropolitan University. Her book, ‘Gangs of Russia’, explores the secretive world of gangs both before and after the arrival of market capitalism.