Pavel Otdelnov. 2023. Credit: Sergey Novikov

Art, to me, is a tool for exploring and understanding the world. By examining how personal stories intertwine with collective memory, I create complex and multifaceted images that prompt reflection on our shared history and its impact on the present. Through the recognition and preservation of memory, my work invites viewers to engage deeply with the environment and the narratives it holds.

Derelict factories and ruined buildings in my work are not merely remnants of the past but symbols of the hopes, labours, and fates of those who once inhabited and worked in these spaces. I document moments of transition when nature begins to reclaim these territories, raising questions about the fate of industrial heritage and the necessity of its preservation. My paintings address the toxic legacy of the industrial era, depicting landfills and contaminated sites as persistent traces of human activity that underscore the need for a mindful approach to nature and industrial development.