Olga Grotova is a London-based artist. She is currently studying MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art where she is actively pursuing filmmaking. In her spare time she enjoys visiting her dispersed family in Tokyo, St. Petersburg and Amsterdam and hiking in the Mexican jungle.
Your secret art venue when you seek peace and quiet
Camden Arts Center for a chill afternoon with a book in the leafy garden. It is situated in a residential street in Hampstead, North London. The inner courtyard is green and shady in summer – a peaceful place to have a coffee, relax and read. They have interesting exhibitions too, the latest one being Ben Rivers’ solo show.
The best food experience in an art space
‘Sensory’ Yayoi Kusama- inspired dinner by chef Jozef Youssef at Guest Projects – Yinka Shonibare’s project space. The dinner comprised molecular Japanese-style dishes, as intricate as they were delicious. There was a soup made of fog and the desert was a sort of edible paper. There were lots of dots too, naturally.
A museum gift shop that you never leave empty handed
Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo has a gift shop packed with all-things Totoro, which I am obsessed with. It also sells great studio art books, limited edition prints and many books on traditional animation techniques.
Your museum with a wow-factor
Hermitage museum in my native city St. Petersburg is fascinating with its old-school Tsarist grandeur and the imperial bling. Its rooms with golden chandeliers, marble flooring and precious-stone mosaics are seemingly infinite. It hosts an enormous art collection from the pre-historic times to Impressionists. I am still impressed by the opulent royal carriages and the clock in the shape of the golden peacock, which sings every hour.
Please share with us a special personal memory related to a museum experience
Leading performance workshop in the Hayward Gallery’s Wide Open School was a memorable experience. The participants ranged from art students to people with no art experience whatsoever and I loved that everyone was really going for it. There were a few surprises too: towards the end of the last day one elderly gentleman became so brave as to strip off his clothes for his performance act, which has rather startled me and other participants. Not less so because he was wearing a golden thong underneath his tweed suit.