Dedicated to the resilient Ukrainian spirit. It is a chimera, representing duality. To live, not just to survive, in the face of death requires both earthliness and sanguinity. As such, Vichna’s two goals exist in the physical and the spiritual realm: to document, and to evoke.
Vichna remembers the erasure and obliteration. For centuries, Ukrainian culture has been threatened in the material world. Documents were burned so we would forget where they came from, who we prayed to. Arts and writing were destroyed, intellectuals were killed; they hoped we would forget our ideas, and the love that burned for our roots. So then, our resilient Ukrainian spirit became an archivist and record-keeper. Vichna documents tangible Ukrainian heritage in photographs.
Vichna challenges the notion of the westernized feminine. The Ukrainian feminine is the river flowing through the body. She is the inspirer, the continuer, giving the force that turns the pages of her book of life. In times of separation and displacement, she inspired her home to stay together and her family life to continue. Her commitment to continuity can be seen in Ukrainian heritage and home for generations to come.
I utilize many pieces that were owned by my grandmother in this group of photographs. She is the woman who instilled the importance of Ukrainian tradition in her children, which included my mother, who then in turn instilled those same cultural ideologies in my sister and me.