Q&A with Olga Kontraskina

2019 Gallery Perma-Vole

Perma-Voles dedicate one day a week on an ongoing basis to supporting the ONCA team across our two venues. We’re catching up with one off our newest perma-voles Olga Kontraskina.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Olga , I am Greek with Russian origins and I love experiencing a lot of different ways of living around the world. I’ve lived in Brighton with my husband for the last two years. I am a Social Anthropologist graduate and I apply my studies in every dimension of my life. That means by meeting new people, new cultures and new social contexts. I love research, music, movies, books and spending time with friends. Things I enjoy the most is a good live concert, being lost in an unknown city and long lasting conversations with good friends. My happy place is a relaxing cup of coffee after a very productive afternoon.  My biggest fear is being bored or being unproductive in a place that I don’t feel like myself. That means that I have to start packing again 🙂

What drew you to become a Permavole at ONCA?

What drew me to become a Permavole at ONCA was the drive to explore the world of arts and exhibitions. The city of Brighton is a very artistic place with many arts events, studios and exhibition galleries and I couldn’t find a better place to start with volunteering. The philosophy of ONCA’s gallery is an another important factor that drew me to be a Permavole. It is a gallery that , above the artistic aspect, it also bridges social and environmental justice issues, something that is a general concern of mine. Last but not least, I was really exited to assist with workshops, art events and exhibitions. 

Has your experience at ONCA provided you with new skills or experiences?

My experience in ONCA so far has provided me a slight understanding of how  should an event be organised and what should be done for maintaining the gallery’s website updated and well preserved. I have been volunteering only for a couple of weeks so I haven’t got a lot of experience but I can’t wait to learn more. 

How do you think these skills will serve you in the future?

I believe that the biggest reward someone can take from this experience is people skills. As I am new in Brighton, it is very important for me to try different  working sectors and be flexible. That can improve my communication and interpersonal skills as well as my confidence as a person and employee.

Something that surprised you about ONCA?

What surprised me about ONCA was the openness to any kind of artistic themes and visions. The way that ONCA faces diversity and differences is absolutely remarkable. I come from a much more conservative culture and this attitude gave me a really positive impression. 

Who is your favourite artist, writer or thinker at the moment?

This moment I am more curious about realism in arts so painters as Edward Hopper attracts my attention. I have been always admired legendary writers such as Dostoyevsky, Balzac, Kazantzakis etc. Thinkers that have influenced my vision are Michel Foucault, the greek historic Kastoriades and recently I really enjoy the social criticism of Christopher Hitchens. 

What is something you hope to achieve this year?

This year I hope to avoid consuming as much plastic as possible, organise a transatlantic trip (probably somewhere in Latin America) and try to make myself feel like home in the city.


Get Involved

At ONCA our our volunteers enable us to continue providing great, inclusive exhibitions and projects for everyone to enjoy. Click here to find out more about volunteering at ONCA.