Mila Dolman
Cross-stitching is one of the most ancient leisure activities undertaken in order to decorate oneself and one's surroundings. It is popular even today. There are numerous cross-stitching communities online. This meditative occupation not only calms people down, but gives many a chance for self-fulfilment without leaving one's own room. As a rule, cross-stitching patterns often depict bucolic scenes and can be divided into groups – 'kids', 'animals', 'pastoral landscapes' and other such stuff.

I moved away from the traditional patterns and based my cross-stitching on real life scenes that don't always please the eye. The combination of real life and an unreal dream is present in every work. Homeless people and beautiful lovers, an abandoned house and cottage, surrounded by a beautiful flowering garden.
The imagined part of the image is cross-stitched, the other part is a real reflection of life and is free from embroidery. There is an option to leave everything as it is. Alternatively, one can continue to embroider the illusory 'beauty', because the reality outside the window of a cosy bourgeois living room is quite different. People like to believe in beauty, to reassure themselves that nothing bad will happen to them.

In all works the cross-stitching is given up and not brought to an end. There is a belief that when the embroidery ends, life ends. There is hope for salvation as long as there is at least one unfinished stitch. Empty space in all works is an attempt to ask a question: may our touch be no longer required? Or on the contrary – we have to touch in order to change everything completely.

The symbol of the cross is also very important for me, and the value that I ascribe to it in Russia. A cross can overshadow, help one escape from 'evil spirits', and can ruin everything around. In Russian the phrase 'to put a cross on everything' is to give up on everything. The choice is up to us.
The main project of the Krasnoyarsk Museum Biennale 2015
Girls. 2015. Print on canvas, embroidering. 150х110
Village. 2015. Print on canvas, embroidering. 140 x 58
Date. 2015. Krasnoyarsk museums collection. Print on canvas, embroidering. 65x45
Tenderness. 2015. Print on canvas, embroidering. 72 x 50
'The Practice of Contact'
'Kittens in the Manege' exhibition, 2014, New Manege, Moscow