06 april 2012


Some people who have already been playing an important role in my Ukrainian art research project:

This is Maria. She is one half of Grafprom, a very busy graphic design studio that has the ambition to make Kharkiv look more aesthetic (work to do!). The ambitions of Maria and Iliya are high, their minds bright, and they are working hours on end -apart from having a smoke every half hour, so I am sure they will succeed their mission. They sometimes also get help from Andrei, Iliya's brother. I can approve of all this personally, because I happen to sleep in their studio. Grafprom is very kind to me, even though they are so busy. I have started to prepare a small project that we hope doing together at the end of my stay... Below a photo of my first preparations.


Above is Nellyy, I met her wondering through art academy. She is 25 and good at etching and speaking English. Today we met in the graphic workshop of the academy and we spent a lot of time together -we kept forgetting about the tea. She explained a lot to me about how art school functions here and how she looks at her work. She showed me some work of hers, some of them were inspired by love poems she had written herself. Emotions are important to her, as a source of inspiration.
Nellyy introduced me to 2 art teachers.

One of them -I will tell you his name later because I didn't write it down and don't want to make a mistake- did not speak English, so Nellyy was trying to translate our intense conversation. He mainly explained to me that without mastering the technical aspects of perspective, form, color and so on, you can impossibly break them. I witnessed indeed that he was very demanding of his students, but also that he was very passionate about his profession. He said art school is like yoga class: you learn how to master yourself, and afterwards, you can work with yourself in whatever way you like. Indeed, my general first impression is that students are very patiently working on things here...

Next on the programme was Vladimir Nosan, a local painter who also teaches (model) drawing at art academy. Nellyy took me to his studio, a dark office place on the top floor of a grey building, that smelt like coffee and was divided in a part where he did some graphic computer work and another smaller part where he was painting. Most important thing I remember from the conversation with him is that he paints subjects that are dear to him, like dreams he had, personal heroes like his grandmother, love stories and so on. I was moved by the personal approach he dares to put in his paintings. And by the fact he did not mind explaining it. Afterwards Nellyy, Vladimir and I had a nice dinner together.
I will attempt to participate in a model drawing class from Vladimir soon.