Artist, illustrator and educator,

Recent work



FEB 02–MAY 21 2023  
Clouds, Power and Ornament show, CHAT, Hong Kong

JUN 25–AUG 04 2022   
DAVRA Collective Public Program, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel 

AUG 13–SEP 03 2021
Mixed Feelings Solo Show, dom36, Almaty 

Azbuka Strikes Back︎︎︎

Tselinny 20.05.2023, Almaty

Parenthood Manifesto︎︎︎
CHAT, Hong Kong

Collective Zine Making︎︎︎
Babalar Press, online

Rethinking Dolls (& Agniya Barto)︎︎︎
Slavs and Tatars’ Pickle Bar, Berlin

01. Metropolis M

Art of Manty

02. New Lines Magazine
Kazakhstan’s Bloody January 

03. ELLE 
On feminism and motherhood

04. Bologna Children’s Book Fair
Illustrators Wall  

Mixed Feelings

Mixed Feelings is Madina Zholdybekova’s first solo show combining the young artist’s new works made in the techniques of illustration, weaving, video and installation. The exhibition aims to represent and reflect on the experience of motherhood, as well as the ambiguous relationship between mother and child.

We often hear from others that childbirth is the only happiness for any woman, her one true destiny. But how true are such words? And how happy do women who have recently become mothers feel? Between various kinds of social pressure, guilt, romanticization and attempts to resist excessively high social standards, Madina chooses an honest, unvarnished conversation with her audience about what it really means to be a mother.

The exhibition curated by Dilda Ramazan was held from August 13 to September 3 2021 in Dom 36, Almaty. Within the framework of the exhibition, curatorial tours, an artist talk and a webinar with Elina Belyaeva, a transactional analyst in the field of psychotherapy was organized for everyone.

Regular Star. Neutron Star. Black Hole, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool
61 х 67 cm, 60 х 97 cm, 63 x 138 cm

Regular Star. Neutron Star. Black Hole, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool
61 х 67 cm, 60 х 97 cm, 63 x 138 cm

The breasts of a woman who has recently become a mother and started breastfeeding go through certain transformations: not only their shape and size may change, but so does their level of sensitivity. The triptych Regular star. Neutron star. Black hole is a sort of appeal to the acceptance of the woman's changed breasts and the normalization of their various states.

Chewed Up Cassette, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool
45 х 56 cm, 30 x 41 cm
In this diptych the artist comments on the exhausting process of breastfeeding, when a woman’s breasts cease to be hers rather becoming the center of attraction for a baby. The latter literally hangs on them day and night thus evoking associations with a broken record player that chewed up your favorite tape.
Breast Collection, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool
57 х 85 cm
Breast milk, like wine, can make a child become drunk. In the work Breast Collection, the artist imagines what a woman's breasts would look like if they were a dandelion — a flower from which wine can be produced.

The Wall of Condemnation, 2021
Acrylic, textile (swaddle cloth)
A dose of concentrated social pressure on a woman. One or more of these questions will surely be familiar to every female visitor of the exhibition.
When for the second child? 
Marry first, and love will come afterwards.
When do you plan to get married? You still have to give birth
Why your child is not potty-trained yet?
Don’t hold your baby all the time. He’s going to get used to and manipulate you
Why so early at work after mat leave? Your baby needs mother 
Give birth for yourself, otherwise you will end up being alone when you are old
Take care of yourself, otherwise your man will leave you for younger woman

White Noise, 2021
Edited by Balnura Nussipova
Video, sound
Duration: 4:45 min
Created from the artist’s personal archival materials White Noise two channel video installation provides the visitors with an opportunity to plunge into the everyday life of a mother. An honest, head-on documentation of such an experience gives an eloquent idea of how difficult it is to raise a child.