Next to korovai Will be folded in half rushnyks, Ukrainian embroidered wedding cloth. These are hung on the wall and frame the pictures of the Trinity created by Husark in Ukraine during regular visits over the past few years. The first shows an altar with an icon in her grandmother’s bedroom (common in Ukrainian homes). The other shows a yellow quince basking in the sun in front of a light blue background. The third photo, created by Husark in Kyiv in October, shows a woman smoking a cigarette from the balcony talking outside her frame with her neighbor under her. A small yellow sun square illuminates her in front of the baby blue building.
“Typically Ukrainian,” Husark talks about the building and its trademark “post-Soviet” balcony.
“It’s beautiful and ugly,” Bavenco adds with a laugh.
Husark says that the typical Ukrainians are not just the architecture of the photographs and the shades of blue and yellow. So are the customs and cultures that underlie those scenes. Older women still know their neighbors while living in the big city of Kieu. Husark photographed the quince in her house where she grew up. All of these pictures were taken at or from the house where Husark grew up. “This is another Ukrainian thing. We don’t tend to move around very much,” she says, placing her photo prints on the wall with the help of Bavenco. “Ukrainian [are] Very similar to a small crab. If you find a small niche, you want to stay there. “
Traditionally picked in spring and summer, blessed in the church, and dried in the house, dried flowers help put candles and bread on the table below to assemble the triptych in the photo. increase. Together, these elements take the form of traditional altars or prayer corners that you can find in many Ukrainian homes. “I think it’s beautiful and symbolic that Dariya tries to recreate the prayer corner of the house while she’s away from the house,” says Bavenco. “And her grandmother had to leave.”
Husark’s 78-year-old grandmother, who is now safely in the United States, was able to bring the icon painting back to Seattle. “She forgot a lot of other things. Her family albums and photos, [other things] She probably didn’t have the opportunity to take her … she had to leave at 3am, “says Husark. “But at least she ran away with something. She ran away with the majority of people. And at this point I think you don’t care about the possessions you left behind. You care that people are alive, and unfortunately many Ukrainians don’t have it. ”
According to the United Nations, as of early April, more than 4 million refugees had fled Ukraine, making it Europe’s largest escape country since World War II.
The altar is worthy and perhaps hopeful for the Ukrainians who saw the house destroyed, and for many who were forced to leave their hometown.
For Husark, the altar is a symbol of Ukraine’s sovereignty from Russia, both literally and culturally. “There are a lot of conversations about … [our] Similarity. And it looks like this: It’s hard not to have similarities to those who oppressed you, “she says.
Respecting some of the Ukrainian traditions in the face of what Husark and Bavenco see as the latest wave of destruction attempts feels important, especially as the spring harvest begins and Easter approaches. .. “Many myths and spirituality are woven into many Ukrainian folklore and symbols,” says Husark. “And much of it is related to hope, love, kindness and peace. I hope most Ukrainians will be able to experience it.”