painted reproductions of authentic Ukrainian Embroidery designs


I am part Ukrainian, so this is my way of authentically and ethically connecting with an ancient culture. Though I am second generation, I still grew up surrounded by Ukrainian culture.

I am interested in these embroidery patterns and designs for many reasons. It is ancient, it is a form of meditative practice, a prayer, a sacred art. It also contains hidden codes and that is the part that I find particularly intriguing and which I am learning both through researching Ukrainian culture and through the act of actually reproducing the designs (using paint).

The design is also made up of squares - pixels really. These are *absolutely perfect* renditions of the designs I copy - copies are *exactly* the same as the original. The designs are also easily represented as numbers too since they are bitmaps.

I recognize that traditionally, this is women's art form - perhaps a bit like circle dancing. There is a rhythm to it - a magical rhythm. It is a sacred practice and a means of hidden communication as well. Communication with an ancient past. I wish to facilitate this communication through these designs.

At any rate, the effect of these rhythms are real and as I was painting it, I felt that there was some work being done under the surface - that the codes in the design were serving their intended purpose, bringing me closer to the rhythms of nature. It was deeply satisfying to complete the designs - relaxing and meditative.

As one effort to address this, I record and play back the drawing process as animations - what colours were filled in where and in what order. These are meant to be read for information it may contain on the creative content of the material and possibly some insight into the meanings of the designs.

I will also be connecting sound/music to the animations using material gathered from the Ukrainian Art Song Project. See my website for more detail and these animations.

I will be developing a thirteenth painting that will be an amalgamation of the twelve designs based on some sort of algorithm or system, perhaps simple, but satisfying and revealing somehow.

I will be donating a fixed amount in the near future to support the effort in Ukraine. Updates soon.