This December Centrala will present Olga Grotova’s (b. 1986, St. Petersburg, Russia) first solo exhibition “Debris on a Luminous Plain”, running 11 December 2018 – 16 February 2019. London-based artist stages an environment of paintings, ceramic props and video work as a set for a new live work to present three female characters engaging in dialogues, confrontations and rituals. Their conversations drift from a small talk to the ecology and the supernatural being. Spooky occurrences in the natural world end up being logical whilst mundane events become symbols of agency and displacement.

The paintings in the exhibition suggest shifting transitional states with gradients and unfinished marks, but at the same time reveal their flatness and repetition that result from printing process. The artist uses screen printing and alternative darkroom techniques incorporating Soviet film stock and plants: negative shadow images of objects become positives for printing. Therefore, the word ‘plain’ in the exhibition’s title refers to geographical terrain – a flat, sweeping landmass and a flat surface of paintings populated by marks. The word ‘debris can refer to ecological debris found in the steppes and to the people rejected from the society.

“It’s very interesting how ancestors’ past can affect vision and perception of next generation. Many Grotova’s works present joy and terror at the same time and “Debris on a Luminous Plain” is no exception. Artist’s grandmother and great grandmother were exiled to the Kazakh steppe during the Great Purge and the image of the vast unconstrained land distorts notions of freedom associated with nature’s vast spaces into the image of repression.” – said Karina Cabanikova, Centrala Programme Assistant

Supporting Events

7 December 2018, 8.00 PM


10 January 2019, 6.00 PM

Film Screening

24 January 2019, 5.00 PM

Artist Talk followed by Film Screening

1 February 2019, 6.00 PM

Digbeth First Friday Special Performance

14 February 2019, 5.00 PM

Reading Club led by Olga Grotova