2024-04-02

Projects:   Cultural heritage

In Canada, the ally co-organized and participated in an exhibition of Ukrainian vytynanky

As part of the Sacred Heritage project, headed by Allied member Tetiana Znak, an exhibition of Ukrainian vytynanka (cut-outs) was held in Canada, which also featured the work of a member of the Ukrainian Women's Union.

This project is designed not only to preserve cultural roots and popularize Ukrainian culture, but also to unite people who support the Ukrainian struggle for freedom. Showcasing Ukrainian art in Canada also promotes a unique dialogue between the two countries.

Vytynanka comes from the word "to wipe". This is how our ancestors decorated windows and walls by cutting out various ornaments from paper. This art technique came to Ukraine in the nineteenth century. In each region and in many population centers, they acquired peculiar local features in terms of the interpretation of material, form, technical skill, sense of rhythm, proportions, silhouettes, and richness of ornamentation. The ornamentation of traditional vytynanky is mostly geometric and floral, with anthropo- and zoomorphic figures, images of household items, architecture, etc. The paper was folded twice, four times, and eight times, which allowed for symmetrical compositions. Vytynanky were widespread in Podillia, Prykarpattia, and the Dnipro region. "Vytynanky for decorating houses" are described in the works of Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko, Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi, and Borys Hrinchenko. Ivan Franko also noted "the extraordinary originality of the patterns and the well-developed technique of those vytynanky."

The exhibition in New Westminster (British Columbia) featured masterpieces by Tetiana Znak, Dmytro Vasylkiv, Yevhenia Bushuyeva, Olena Martynets, Oleksandra Berdnyk, Oksana Ilnytska, and Olesia Tsyupryk. The exhibition is coordinated by Iryna Mitnovych.

Through their art, the masters sought to preserve the complex heritage of vytynanka, to combine creativity with cultural roots. They have created works that not only delight, but also tell the story of Ukraine.

"The idea for our project began in November last year, when Olena Martynets offered to help decorate the stage for the Carol of the Bells volunteer initiative to support children of heroes in Ukraine. And Yevhenia had long wanted to try to make a vytynanka, so we teamed up. It was three huge cloths with the ethnic symbols 'Trees of Life', 'Star', and 'Rye'. Dmytro Vasylkiv joined us, and we created the Star in creative tandem. After this event, we decided that we needed to organize an exhibition so that as many people as possible could discover the art of vytynanka. Then we were joined by Oleksandra Berdnyk, Oksana Ilnytska, and Olesia Tsyupryk," says Tetiana Znak about the birth of the project idea.

Tetyana's sign 'Tree with Roots' is an image of a tree that symbolizes the connection between generations and the importance of knowing your roots.

Oleksandra Berdnyk and Oksana Ilnytska presented vytynanky in the style of Petrykivka and Samchykovo paintings.

Olena Martynets's work is called "Carpathians" - a lace of Hutsul carvings in the shape of mountains and the sun emerging from the clouds, symbolizing hope.

Olesia Tsyupryk depicted Trypillia ornaments on canvas.

Yevhenia Bushuyeva carved a very important and painful message. Her work is called "Occupied Territories". The embroidery ornaments are inscribed in the borders of the territories that are currently under occupation.

"We are all from different regions of Ukraine and we have united to bring the beauty of Ukrainian art to the world and to remind them that there is a war going on and our country needs support," summarized Tetiana Znak.