Hazel’s conscientiously created alter ego Kalinka was born whilst completing her MA. She is a Yiddish speaking Russian doll and a collector of stories and Yiddish words. She invented a personal history and an archive for her to flesh out her character and give her a place in a society. Kalinka is Hazel’s idealised feminine self and was created in response to the difficulties in finding her place in the post modern world, where she was not a perfect fit. In order to locate her place in society she became a Russian doll that embodies all her ancestors. Hazel uses familiar objects, stories and language as inspiration and uses artistic license to fill the gaps in historical evidence in her photographs and films.
Initially Hazel worked with a series of photographic self portraits, an installation of cages in order to preserve memory and culture and this developed into two films ‘The Kalinka Archives’ 2008 and ‘Kalinka’s Tea Party’ 2009.
Film became Hazel’s media of choice as she was able to relate stories and could cut away the pieces she didn’t wish to reveal. Hazel was able to impose her own aesthetic and attempted to make each frame read as a painting.
© 2021 Hazel Lopatkin