Ukraine 1 - painting
Ukraine 1 - painting
Ukraine 1 - painting

Ukraine 1 - painting

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February 2021

acrylic on unstretched canvas - 35" x 65"

 

reproduction of an authentic Ukrainian embroidery design

I am part Ukrainian, so this is my way to authentically and ethically connect with an ancient culture. Though I am third generation, It is still the most dominant cultural influence from my lineage.

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). It has a reputation for being quite mysterious.

So I start with what I know and work from there.

I have not been able to find the author nor any kind of precise explanation for this design. It is just one of my favorites - it 'spoke' to me. There is a vocabulary of forms and symbols that are used throughout all the Ukranian designs and I will elaborate on this as I learn more - for example, a certain kind of zig-zag means strength or prosperity.

One aspect that I also like, being into computer graphics as I am, are the facility with which this design is represented as pixels. The elements *are* pixels - no modification, transformation, or approximation required. 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 lends itself perfectly to computational treatment - as a bitmap, a table of numbers, and from there, well..whatever

I am also doing a series of them. Do you have one you would like to be reproduced into a painting? Let me know - robgillthings@gmail.com. The above is a good indicator of my scale.

The act of painting this design was definitely a spiritual exercise, a kind of visual mantra. There is definitely a sense of proportion and rhythm to the design and I could feel it having an effect on me as I filled in the squares, starting at one end and going to the other.

This is also a women's craft, women's traditional art form - perhaps a bit like circle dancing. As I have mentioned, it has a rhythm to it - a magical rhythm. It is a sacred practice and a means of hidden communication as well. Communication with the ancient ones. As a man practicing this art, I think it is high time that women were afforded the seat of power. High time indeed as this *very* male dominated culture and society collapses under its own weight in real time.

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. It was gentle and in tune with nature. Painting it brought me closer to the rhythms of nature and there was an absolutely peaceful, tranquil, satisfying aspect to filling in the design. Which colours can be laid down in what order.

Anywho, blobs.