cotton, wool, tulle, wood
300 x 165cm
On the way from the outdoor pool entrance to the kiosk, visitors encounter Aziza Shadenova's The Scarecrow. The oversized doll wears a Soviet school uniform. The artist modelled it on the uniform her mother wore as a schoolgirl in occupied Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In 1918, these countries became part of the Soviet Union. They regained their independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With this sculpture, the artist reminds us that the Sovietisation of Central Asia eradicated national identities, customs, traditions and languages there. She urges the outdoor pool visitors to be cautious by showing them that something as innocent as a school uniform can embody something so destructive.
About the artist
Aziza Shadenova (*1989) lives and works in Hastings, UK. She is a Kazakh artist who grew up in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Her work includes painting, photography, moving images and installations. Therein she reflects on her cultural upbringing during the turmoil of the post-Soviet period, while exploring global issues such as the crisis of ecology and identity. Her work has most recently been shown at the Sharjah Biennial and Roving Central Asia at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile in Hong Kong.