Born in the Soviet Union, raised in an independent Estonia and educated in the UK, I have found myself in an involuntary position of ‘the other’. A position, I’ve embraced and employ as datum in my artistic practice, leads me to explore a diverse spectrum of cultural identity and gender issues within historical and contemporary contexts.

Focusing on women’s position in contemporary society, I aim to question how identities are formed via subconscious effects of advertising, movies and popular media. A perpetual state of continuous transition, such as from Soviet to post-Soviet or from being young to middle aged, serves as constant inspiration. 

My practice is often research based – I gather materials and stories in search of connections, similarities or differences between them. People, their belongings and personal narratives are the main inspiration for my artistic work. I enjoy combining personal histories with public images to form new statements or highlight what can often be overlooked. I appropriate and deconstruct remnants of stories that have been considered unimportant or sidelined to prompt socio-cultural debates between local and global contexts.

Maria Kapajeva © 2023