While we were in St Petersburg putting together our extra special Russia issue, we paid a visit to Erarta, Russia's largest non-State funded contemporary art gallery.

Over five floors of what was once the Synthetic Rubber Research Institute, the museum - as it likes to call itself - presents 2,000 pieces by more than 140 artists from all over Russia.

Deliberately eclectic, non-metropolitan and at times downright eccentric, the collection is proof of how much of Russia has remained insulated from contemporary art trends in Western Europe and the States (for better or worse). Most of what is on display here is painting and much of it still explores approaches long abandoned elsewhere.

What makes Erarta interesting though is its attempts to display its works in new ways and encourage experimentation. A number of 'U-Spaces' are handed over to artists to create permanent living rooms. There are also a series of cinema spaces, one of which presents animations from local studios which riff on paintings in the permanent collection. We have picked five of our favourites to share.