Artist Statement 

"The fact that I was born and raised on a farm in Siberia..."


There is a different life somewhere out there. Life with early mornings before the sunrise when you run outside to get eggs out of the chicken house to make omelets for breakfast. There is a life where you milk a cow before having a glass of milk. A life where you pick the vegetables in the garden for your salad and slaughter the cow if you want meatballs for dinner. There is a life with long evenings by the fire followed by songs and fairytales. There is a life with constant but pleasant troubles and everyday hard work. A happy life though, and happy people. 


The fact that I was born and raised on a farm in Siberia affects how I look at the world and is reflected in my work. I use different media as a way through which I can connect with the place where I grew up as well as the place where I live now.


My inspiration comes from simple things, like a morning jog on a trodden path. I think about how the path bends with the river and how it would look from the sky. I think about the possibilities of making that shape out of clay. Or what about the ant’s movements and what its path would look like if drawn on a piece of paper? What if we could recreate the feeling when we look at the sunset or the mountains? How would that feeling look like in the physical world? In my work, I often see the theme of chaotic movement through lines that twist, swim up and down, and turn around. When I spill something on the table or floor, I don’t run to get a rag but rather observe the incomprehensible but interesting form. I often stop when I see weird stains on walls and doors or the form of damaged plaster. I explore the “spot.” These moments fascinate me.

Time is everything and nothing. Working with clay brings me peace. The ego leaves the mind. The mind leaves the physical world. I am living in the moment: not knowing where the shape would take me, and not being able to change what clay has given me in the past. You learn how to appreciate what you were given, how to build something new from scratch, how to accept things when they are complete by letting them be imperfect. In life, we do the same, and sculptures that come from one's imagination into material reality remind me, that we all are here, to co-create...

- Rika Kova


RIKA KOVA is a Chicago-based artist and sculptor who mainly focuses on ceramics. She was born in a small town in Southern Siberia, close to the border with Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and China. Being surrounded by different Asian cultures and growing up close to nature, she finds her inspiration in her travels, spends a lot of time outdoors, exploring new lands and learning about new cultures. The interest in art was cultivated during her teenage years, however, the scientific and mathematical part of her personality, dragged Rika to get her first degree in Economics. In her early 20s, Rika immigrated to the US where she further developed her artistic skills, received an associate degree in Art and Design from the Community College of Philadelphia, and later her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.