Since I was a child, my maternal Ukrainian heritage has played an important role in the shaping of my beliefs. Tradition and superstition are just two elements of this culture that are passed down from generation to generation. As I have reached adulthood, these elements have increasingly influenced my daily life, raising questions and curiosities that I confront through art. By using materials that echo my grandparents’ lives, such as steel and fabric, a dialogue is created to allow for the exploration of a spiritual connection. It is also through sensory experience that this connection is able to grow stronger. The smell of steel, for example, reminds me of my grandfather’s shop while certain foods resonate memories of my grandmother.

The process of creating these pieces also plays an important role; it can be thought of as a contemplative study of my heritage. Personal possessions of my grandparents also allow an exploration of connections and personal history to form. Traditional influences can be seen throughout my work, but they are translated in materials that prove to be a fervent link to my Ukrainian forbearers. As a result, this body of work becomes a medium for self-discovery as well as a record of sensorial memory.

 

 

Keeping Her Close

2011
Vacuum sealed bags, handkerchiefs
60” x 16”

 

 

Rushnyky

2010
Wood, steel, iron, bronze
144” x 144”

 

Tensile Strength

2011
Nylon pantyhose, steel bolts
Dimensions variable

 

 

The Scent in Which She Lingers

2011
365 silk organza bags with garlic skins, video projection, garlic scent
Dimensions variable

 

Tactile Recollection

2010
Steel, organza, sawdust, dandelion seeds, garlic skins
38” x 36” x 2”

 

 

Preservation

2010
Iron, cement
48” x 26” x 18”

 

Coalesce

2010
Steel, bronze
46” x 26”