Olha Fedoruk is an artist who lives and works in the City of Lviv in western Ukraine. Her style is uniquely her own. Combining graphic art with painting, her work is multifaceted and multidimensional. I can safely say, that one would be hard pressed to find an artist working today with a creativity quite like hers. I caught up with the artist by phone to talk about her work, her creative process, and how her world view informs art work.
An artist often works intuitively and isn’t guided by logic necessarily, but engages his feelings. For instance, a writer may express himself through words, a musician through notes, and an artist through painting, drawing, sculpture, or composition, but really, the work comes from his intuition, which is why perhaps, it’s difficult to describe my creative process to you.
My training also plays a factor. For example, if I had gone to another school, I think my work would have been different. Education, methodology, these things can make a difference. Along with what you personally bring forward as an artist, there is also the knowledge and experiences that you acquire through training.
I’m not a politician. That’s why I try to refrain from making bold statements on this subject. In addition to that, we are constantly fighting against disinformation in the media. What is happening now is like an open wound for those people who aren’t indifferent to the fate of our country and those people who are suffering because of this war. We see these horrible images of death and destruction daily and we couldn’t have imagined this before.
We all have our abilities and those of us who have the opportunity do what we can. For instance there are artists in Lviv that take part in an auctions where the proceeds go to support the Ukrainian army. We bought body armor and helmets from the money we raised selling our pieces. There is another auction coming up that will help wounded soldiers. This is a way that artists can contribute. Artist who have the desire and who are able, contribute their works and people who appreciate their work and also wish to help those who are fighting for Ukrainian independence can do their small part.
On seeking balance.
I try to strive for balance and harmony in my work, but right now with what’s going on that is becoming more and more difficult. There’s a kind of discordant or destructive force spreading throughout our world counteracting people’s inner harmony and well being. When I feel as if those forces are pulling me away from my natural balance I try to turn back to that frequency which strives for peace. I listen to recordings of classical music when I work. They say that God speaks to us through Bach, and Mozart, and other classical composers, like Vivaldi. I try to return to that, but the destructiveness of the war bears on each of us all the same. I try to resist that feeling, but the energy that carries that disharmony and destructiveness still affects me.
You can’t isolate yourself from the world. I see the world and all of us as one living organism. We are all interconnected, like the cells of a body, all of us. So that when some disquiet affects other people it passes through to us as well. You can’t escape it. You can’t fly away as if into the cosmos, you are a part of it. It’s not possible to be closed off in your own calm environment. At least I’m speaking for myself. Perhaps someone else can. That’s why, as a way to counteract this negative force I’m drawn to more spiritual modes that I strive for in my work. When you choose this subject matter it’s as if you are prompted from within as to how to approach your work. This helps me express my point of view and show where I stand, to make it clear which side I’m on.
By Danylo Terleckyj