Olga Lomaka is a promising emerging artist that is actively exhibiting worldwide and participating in global art-fairs and biennales. Her works are immediately recognised for a remarkable personal style. The artist’s key features are to play with recognizable images and products of consumerism, pooled together with contrasting beliefs to give a second meaning to hidden symbols. Viewers can often find images of famous people in her artworks. In October 2016, Lomaka presented an installation dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II for her solo show “Artefacts” at Saatchi Gallery , London.
Working in pop - art style, Lomaka always strives to perfect her skills, experimenting with new techniques such as carving and aerography, and mixing traditional materials with modern media. From 2002 - 2012 Lomaka studied painting and fine art courses at Loyola University and Central Saint Martins. In 2015, Lomaka graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with a BA in Painting. She recently won ‘Best Contemporary Artist 2017’ presented by Phillips Auction House, London. Lomaka’s works can be found in 25 Kadr Gallery Foundation (Moscow), Contemporary Art Center (Kiev), Loyola University Foundation (Chicago), Erarta Museum (St. Petersburg) as well as in private collections.
Series of artworks “Artefacts” is a number of Buddha images carved on wooden panels in a simple woodcarving manner. Such primitive sculptures of the Buddha might have been created by unknown rural masters not only today, but also during all those thousands of years when Buddhism was being established as a world religion. Its main symbol, the Buddha, became an artistic symbol, incorporating the experience of generations and the environment of values expressed in a simplified and understandable image — an artefact of the Eastern culture.
In this project, the infallible and imperturbable image of the Buddha has other additional significance. The Buddha is “enriched” with unexpected additions — seemingly inappropriate, provocative symbols of modern cultural and information world of consumerism in the form of shiny aluminum signs: recognizable brands and logos; idols of the fashion industry; fictional characters of the Western society; new attributes of beauty; and the inalienable symbols of social networks, which affect all areas of modern life. These objects are artefacts with new content that have the value of a different type. The symbols of modern times overlap the classic image and slowly integrate into its meaning. This cultural diffusion is global; every new generation still carries experience and spiritual wealth of ancestors, but constant social and global phenomena force them to adapt and find their own path of development, evolve mentally rather than physically and change their perception of the world. The change of consciousness and mindset pushes us to seek the best balance between the traditional spiritual values and cultural symbols of postmodernism.
That’s exactly what produces an unexpected and shocking effect. But the artist takes the image of the Buddha as the basis of her artwork and thus determines its dominant value. Yes, visually this image blends into the background but only to become the beginning of other events and ’characters’ that mankind needs today to go to the next stage of evolution. The Buddha is still the guide for moral and spiritual values.
The idea of the “Artefacts” project is to combine the two quite contradictory elements of culture — modern Western and ancient Eastern, and to contrast the global phenomena — the consumer society, the cultural and technological dependence of modern civilization and the ethical traditions of the main Eastern religion, the Buddhism. For centuries, the Buddha was a major artefact of human spiritual existence, and now, to remain one, he goes along the path of modernization and evolution incorporating new values, once again proving to us his unwavering importance in our lives and willingness to change in accordance with the requirements of “future society”.