In Russian culture, the notion of a "душа" closely translates to the English word, soul. There exists a level of frustration when English words are unable to capture the true meaning of a Russian idea. This frustration is played out through code-switching: when a speaker alternates between two language varieties during the context of a single conversation. For some, code-switching becomes a natural form of speech, and perhaps for many people their natural form of thought. We articulate our emotions and ideas in a single language, yet the way in which we contrive of them is in a unique mental construction specific to an individual. The painting "Dusha" is a visual representation of code-switching, using the Cyrillic and English alphabet to mesh the true spelling of the Russian "soul" with the word's phonetic spelling.
A first-generation immigrant is one who moves to a new country and tends to progress without the desire to reflect on what was left behind, or they may be nostalgic for a home they never even experienced. A second-generation immigrant is born in the new country, and tends to desire to reflect on the past of their family in order to assist with understanding their origins. They may be nostalgic for signs of the past and find ways of restoring it. A generation 1.5 is caught in-between. A green card represents the first generation, and a passport as the second; yet the nonfunctional green card is the generation 1.5– expired from its original intent, its conceptual renewal creates an uncanny relationship for the beholder of the document.
Gilded Ruins (painting) and Gilded Moment (sculpture) are two pieces that operate in unison - the painting acting as a setting for the sculptural form. Together they emphasize our desire to highlight particular moments or experiences. In Gilded Ruins, the gold hides the potential signifiers of the locations present within the painting. While in Gilded Moment, the figure’s face is masked as the gold seeps out, simultaneously beginning to cover part of her body. By applying a valuable medium, the act of gilding enforces the connectivity between loss and remembrance.