13″x19″ paper size
Hand-numbered edition of 250, Unsigned.
Embossed by Heliotrope Foundation.
The Heliotrope Foundation, founded by artist Caledonia Curry aka Swoon, is honored to collaborate with Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on a brand new limited edition print release. The print features a still from Nadya’s 2022 art film, “Putin’s Ashes” created in protest against authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin. Nadya is both conceptual performance artist and activist, best known as the founder and frontwoman of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist protest art group that has become a global activist movement. Nadya was imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony for two years in 2012 after an anti-Putin protest performance. Nadya uses her voice in continuous acts of resistance, weaponsing her artwork in order to stand up against the tyranny of the Russian state. She created the artwork being carried in the film still using techniques she learned working in the sweatshops during her imprisonment. She has recently been raising funds to support Ukrainian fighters on the front line. This limited edition print speaks to the balance between art as healing and art as resistance. Swoon, like Nadya, shares a deeply personal understanding of the impact of incarceration. During Swoon’s childhood, both her parents spent time in and out of the US justice system while battling addiction. The Heliotrope Foundation, shepherded by Swoon, has been fundraising to support women returning from incarceration or struggling with addiction and homelessness. Their work has continued to focus on how to heal the cycle of intergenerational trauma.
In this special collaboration, these two iconic female artists are coming together to raise funds for the causes they care most about. Proceeds from the print release will be split between Heliotrope Foundation’s work with Za’Kiyah House and with Nadya’s efforts to support the people of Ukraine in their fight to maintain their lives and sovereignty. Heliotrope is working with Za’Kiyah House, a Pittsburgh based organization whose mission is to combat homelessness, drug addiction and recidivism. Together, they are restoring the old 19th Century Braddock Church to transform it into The Sanctuary: a community center with housing and programming to transform the lives of people coming out of prison, reuniting with their children and families, and rebuilding their lives. Nadya Tolokonnikova will donate her half of print proceeds to organizations working on the ground to help the people of Ukraine.
As the co-founder of independent news service and media outlet, Mediazona, Nadya has spoken before the US Congress, British Parliament, European Parliament, and appeared as herself on Season 3 of House of Cards. Pussy Riot's Punk-prayer was named by The Guardian among the best art pieces of the 21st Century ("feminist, explicitly anti-Putin, protesting the banning of gay pride and the Orthodox church’s support of the president"). She has collaborated with Bansky on his Dismaland exhibition, and created an immersive experience in Saatchi Gallery in London. She’s been endorsed by Marina Abramović and Ai Weiwei and created an immersive experience in Saatchi Gallery in London. Pussy Riot stands for gender fluidity, inclusivity, matriarchy, love, laughter, decentralization, anarchy, and anti-authoritarianism.
“Putin's Ashes” is a short art film created by Tolokonnikova in protest against authoritarian Russian President, Vladimir Putin. It features Nadya along with twelve women participants performing rituals to put a stop to his tyranny. The women are all Ukrainian, Belarusian or Russian, and possess strong dissent against Putin’s leadership. They are assembled outdoors in a tundra, burning an effigy of Putin. The ritual objects were created by Nadya Tolokonnikova herself. The ashes from the burnt effigy were placed into bottles, creating artifacts. The women are seen walking in procession, carrying a framed button that promises to “Neutralize Vladimir Putin''. This piece was made by Nadya using the very skills she learned when she worked in the sweatshops of a Siberian penal colony where she was imprisoned for two years in 2012 after a performance in protest of Putin. She is cleverly using her skills and wisdom gleaned from imprisonment as activism to stop Putin and his authoritarian regime.