Born in the UK and raised later in Russia, Slava Bakhtina is mostly preoccupied in her works with his experience of growing up in Russia. Working primarily, but not exclusively, with drawing, she tries to clarify, illustrate and make sense of the past experience growing up 'in the closet' of putinist Russia. Although at first the pieces seem autobiographical, the personal experience is also political and becomes a window for the artist to explore and understand the cultural and social condition.
As he puts it: "My life in Russia was a social gaslighting experience, which led me to be hopeless and disorientated in the face of corruption and manipulation of information. I naively thought I ran away from it by immigrating to western Europe, but in recent years I wonder whether the escape has been successful. In order to understand what's going on and find answers, I have to start from the smallest doll of the cliche souvenir matryoshka before reaching the larger dolls. I have to start with my own pain, my own political trauma".
"Inside With Open Doors" is the title of the final project, with which Slava Bakhtina presents the "smallest doll" and after graduation hopes to uncover the further outward layers.