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Interacting with the Past and Finding a New Identity

Interacting with the Past and Finding a New Identity

Currently open until 5 September, the Scherbrnko Art Centre will be hosting an exhibition named “Invisible Labour,” featuring the work of Maria Proshkowska, who recently documented her residency in the Carpathian Mountains, engaging with traditional Ukrainian embroidery. 

Proshkowska completed her residency through the SoundID Project. The project is based on the work of the ethnographer, Volodymyr Perzhylo who collected a large catalogue of media materials including documenting the cultural folk traditions and heritage of Ukraine. Through meetings with Ukrainians and others scattered all over the world, he compiled an archive of oral and visual history, which otherwise would have remained forgotten. Interpreting this history allows a more critical view for understanding 20th century and national Ukranian identity. SoundID maintains his archive, using techniques of modern art and technology to make it more accessible to the public, especially for humanitarian organizations. SoundID has also extended its scope internationally, including ethnographic studies within the territories of Russia and Poland, which collaborate with international artists, curators and researchers. The project is amongst the top three winners of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation Grant in 2019 (N.O.R.D. Foundation).

Proshkowska served as a resident artist, studying the Carpathian tradition of embroidering “rushnyky” [рушники] – embroidered ceremonial towels; this type of embroidery is unique to Ukrainian culture and usually practiced exclusively among women. Proshkowska explores the time-consuming and painstaking process of making plain embroidered fabric within a hoop. The apparently plain result would go overlooked or seem invisible, yet Proshkowska resonates with the necessary profundity and virtue of this work. For her, it is also a symbol of shared sisterhood, supporting women through their shared hardships. Proshkowska explores the possibilities of breaking the cycle of hardship represented by the rushnyk, while using it to create a new cycle.

Invisible Labour

6 August – 5 September

Scherbrnko Art Centre

Mykhailivska 22B

Due to COVID restrictions the gallery will be open for up to 10 people at a time.

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