‘I started thinking a lot about my identity and culture in a way I hadn’t before. Where did I come from, what did I bring with me? How am I different and why?’ Inspired by her grandmother’s archive of photographs, she began to sift through her family history, sinking into memories of growing up in a new Russia and unlocking her family’s experience of living in the USSR. ‘My family had different ideas about the soviet era. My parents feared and disliked it, but my grandmother revered the communist regime.’
She explains the whole country is cloaked with this disparity of opinion, yet there has been no public discussion of the soviet period. Everyone has had to drag their political baggage with them, silent and unremarked upon, into a new era of turbulence. There remains a disunity, each person looking back on history with an independent, often unspoken point of view. Much of Katya’s work is to try and close the gap between individual experience. For her, each mark set down on canvas represents a voice. Often these marks are in conflict, expressive sgraffito against gentle sweeps, cool deep blues against fleshy reds. She allows this discord to exist, to give each mark space, before adding something which calms the clash. ‘A third mark, between two conflicting ones, can often create resolution.’ It is more which is encouraged, not less. Granova’s work creating a patina of conversation, layers of voices rising to a cacophonous democracy of mark-making.