painted reproductions of authentic Ukrainian Embroidery designs


I am part Ukrainian, so this is my way to authentically and ethically connect with an ancient culture. Though I am third generation, I still grew up with it and it is part of me.

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 - especially since so far I have found information to be scarce (not knowing the Ukrainian language). The meanings behind the symbols have a reputation for being mysterious.

The design is also made up of squares - pixels really. This is an *absolutely perfect* rendition of the design I copied - it is *exactly* the same. It is an example of an absolute. And of course, it is easily represented as numbers too since it is a bitmap.

This is one of the thirteen that I have planned.

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. Clearly, the time is ripe to nourish Ukrainian cultural identity. I also recognize that being a man doing this needs to be acknowledged. I plan to step aside when this project is done.

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. I definitely felt that it served to bring me closer to the rhythms of nature. I was satisfying fill in the design - relaxing and meditative.


This brings me to one of the aims of this project - the creation of each design, what colours were filled in, in what order, will be recorded as an animation and be able to played back (this also opens up possibilities for analysis and transformation).