'There was nothing pure and bright': Behind the Iron Curtain, art materials were grey and dirty
'The colours, the brightness, I still remember...It was cultural shock'
Born in Vladivostok in the Soviet Union (now a city on Russia's eastern coast), Anyuta Gusakova didn't have access to the range of art materials she now does. "Everything was very greyish, like dirty colours. There was nothing pure and bright."
But some colour did slip through the Iron Curtain and into her life. "Some of my classmate's parents were sailors. They would sail to Japan and they would bring their kids Japanese chewing gum. I remember those chewing gum wrappers that was blue with sparkles. The colours, the brightness, I still remember...it was cultural shock.
After enrolling in a sculpture program in Moscow in 2000 at the Stroganov Academy of Art and Design, one of Russia's oldest classical art schools, Gusakova moved to Vancouver in 2008 — "in search of the freedom to be herself."
Art Minute is a CBC Arts series taking you inside the minds of Canadian artists to hear what makes them tick and the ideas behind their work.