Maria Prymachenko

Photo: CNN

When I use someone else’s work on a post I normally ask permission. I haven’t this time so I hope that just attributing the work to where I found it will be enough. I’m sharing a few paintings by Maria Prymachenko, the late Ukrainian folk artist. It’s not for any personal gain but in the spirit of world peace. A lot of other people seem to be using her art for the same purpose at the moment. I reckon that she may have liked that.

Photo: Wikiart

And of course I have to include sunflowers. This particular work has a lovely title, ‘Dear Friends, I Give You the Sun and My Sunny Art’. Isn’t it joyous? It’s such a contrast to the dark times that Ukraine is experiencing at the moment. Goodness knows why it has taken a war for me to discover this woman’s wonderful work. It’s a funny old world isn’t it? Prymachenko’s art which includes paintings, pottery and embroidery came to international attention after a museum in Ivankiv housing some of her work was bombed. It was feared that the collection was destroyed but fortunately the CNN article suggests that some paintings have been saved.

Photo: Wikiart

This one has a more cryptic title, ‘Dear Taras Hryhorovych, Whatever You See Here Is Yours’. I’ve gone in search of its meaning and discovered that Taras Hryhorovych was a Ukranian poet. He was imprisoned due to work that satirized the oppression of Ukraine by Russia in the 19th century. Sadly it seems that history may be repeating itself.

Photo: Wikiart

‘This bear wants to have some flour milled’ is the title of this wonderful painting. Is the bear a metaphor for Russia? And what is that fox up to? I’m struggling with this one. Anyway I’ve included this as inspiration for a piece of my own. I need an apple tree for a mosaic that I’m going to create for a friend who lives in an old cider barn.

Maria Prymachenko may have lacked a formal art training but that doesn’t undermine her. Don’t take my word for it. Picasso was a fan and she has a planet named after her! Other people have suggested that my own creations have the naïve quality that you see in folk art. I’m proud for it to be seen in this light and it’s probably a realistic appraisal anyway. I haven’t even got O-level art to my name. If I could instil just a modicum of the meaning that these painting hold in my own work I’d be very happy.

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