Laces of Memory Project

23 November 2019

On November 26, at 14:00, Daria Alyoshkina will present her new project “Laces of Memory” in the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide. It will be for the first time that Ukrainian traditional vytynankas will tell not just about images of traditional culture, but also about traumativ history of the nation — the Holodomor. The exhibition will last until January 10, 2020.

Starting from the 19th century, Ukrainians created vytynankas for the feasts, decorating their houses. By spesial little knives, folk masters carved weightless and fragile openwork napkins, cloths, towels. Ornament of the lace consisted of some symbols which told what the family was celebrating — Christmas, wedding or childbirth.

On November 26, this traditional art will be filled with new meanings at the Holodomor Museum at “Laces of Memory” exhibition. The author is a famous Ukrainian artist from Lviv Dariya Alyoshkina.

About the artist: Dariya’s works are huge and are therefore used for interiors, public establishments and book covers. All laces are made on the verge of authenticity and modern. The artist managed to make the lacework relevant in modern culture. Her works were exhibited in Poland, France, Belgium, the USA and South Korea. At her solo exhibition in Seoul, half of the exhibition was purchased by visitors, one of whom was South Korea’s prime minister.

The exhibition “Laces of Memory” was created at the intersection of traditional folk crafts and historical themes — the Holodomor. Some of the works are devoted to images of folk songs and holidays. After all, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the farmers formed a specific part of the Ukrainian nation, against which the Holodomor genocide was committed, and were and carriers of the Ukrainian traditional culture. At the same time, traditional culture has been deformed and banned. The crime of genocide is not only physical murder but also destruction of the nation as such. Therefore, it is logical that the second part of the laces thematically reveals the stories about the Holodomor, based on the memories and testimonies of people who survived the genocide.

For the first time will Dariya Alyoshkina present her laces about the repressive “black boards”, the “law on five ears of grain”, the closed borders of Ukraine, the resistance of the Ukrainians to Soviet power, but also the feelings of charity, support and assistance to each other, that can be seen on these scary pages of our history.

“In my native village, in the middle of the garden, there was a sacred tree — a hawthorn. It could not be broken or cut down. Mom said that it saved people from starvation by its fruits. I have heard stories from during my childhood about hunger in my village; sometimes they were very sad and scary, which my childhood imagination did not fully understand. When I am creating a project on this subject now, I try to answer a number of questions:

How to display hopelessness, loss, pain, struggle graphically? How to feed the souls of the dead? Why, how, for what?

It should not have happened to our Ukrainian people…,” shared her thoughts Dariya Alyoshkina.