Many things have happened over the past month, I chuckle to myself that most people would not have had such a whirlwind of events squeezed into such a short time. Everything seemed to happened in this month.
The participation with a group exhibition of artists in Saudi Arabia was an unexpected and remarkable event for me, even though I had not been able to prepare for it as much as I would have liked to. I was in the mountains of Petra and learned about the exhibition just a couple of days before the opening. I submitted several pictures for approval, the organizers liked all of my submissions and they gave me the option to choose two from my portfolio.
Of course I chose two of my favourites, which were not for sale. I opted for “The “Lioness” and “Glance of the Eagle”
The Lioness evokes raw emotion, mostly completed in a single day & what seems in one single breath. More of the detail was added over subsequent days. I had goose bumps while painting it, because this woman really existed in real life.
The painting is based on an old photo which I embellished with landscape and various daily items. All of us mothers, regardless of nationality and location, have an instinct to protect and feed our child, we can appear weak and feminine next to our man, but we can be strong and dangerous when the situation arises – especially with a child in our arms.
Glance of the Eagle … this is the first and so far the only portrait I have painted after my first trip to Jordan, to the stone city of Petra, where an unusual people still live, surprising and delighting me with their perception of the world. I learned a lot from them about the history of the people and place, about life now and about life in general. I felt the urge to understand and to feel their identity.
Let us return to the exhibition)). I was the only non-Arabic speaking artist in the event, which was an honour for me and I got to see some very talented work from the other artists. The opening and the first evening was excellent, there were a lot of visitors. I did not get time to talk with everyone and did not have time to answer every question, but I tried to devote at least a little time to every visitor who approached my paintings.
The exhibition opened with a highly esteemed guest, I am flattered that after seeing my work on the first day, she returned two days later to a more calm atmosphere to look again. She shared her impressions on my work and what she thought about the Lioness painting was a real pleasure to hear.
Many others visited the exhibition, some of whom I was familiar with from their reputations and I had long dreamed of meeting in person. and representatives from the Ukrainian embassy, I made lots of new friends.
Most importantly, for me, is that I was able to showcase my work to an audience in Saudi Arabia and to express my affinity towards of this country and the Arabian Peninsula. Many people asked me why me, an artist from Ukraine, produced pictures with Arabian themes. The simple answer is because my heart is now attached to the desert and the mountains. I like to listen to the sound of the wind and stories it carries, I see the sand that keeps secrets spanning millennia and the overwhelming mountains with their captivating power…