Exhibition: 20.04.–07.05.2023 - B-gallery’s Main Space (link)
Opening: Wed 19.04.2023 at 18–20
Ukrainian designer and visual artist Oksana Mykhanko arrived in Finland
for the first time one year ago due to the full-scale invasion launched
by Russia. With support from the Ukrainian Solidarity Residency Program
Oksana was based for eight months as artist-in-residence at AARK
(Archipelago Art Residency in Korppoo).
Mykhanko mainly works with graphics and illustration, she also
experiments with collage, textile, painting and digital art. Within
these mediums she explores identities through the prism of cultural
heritage. The most recurrent topic of her work is architecture, through
which one can learn about the features and individualities of people in
different regions, as well as aspects of their family history.
This exhibition features Mykhanko’s attempts to find what is
particular or unique about Finland, especially the Archipelago area and
the environs of AARK. Amidst thoughts of her homeland, the war and her
work related to the topic, these collages and drawings represent the
artist’s struggle to get grounded, to find a balance between being
submerged in problems and emotional stability - to focus on the
everyday, the here and now, the physicality of things. At the same time,
it is a way to get to know the culture of the country you find yourself
in. For Oksana painting and real life studies is a way to integrate
into a new society, and a new world.
«During my stay in Korppoo I tried something new for myself. I created
my first fabric collages and of course the main theme of them is boats!
What I could see from the view from my window was boats, so there was no
other choice. And they also portray the nature of the archipelago. Of
course I also made work about the war. I painted ruined and bombed-out
buildings. But at one moment I understood that I needed to show Finland
in my works, as I’m here, even though it was hard. Since the residency
I have continued working with boats, but in different ways»
At the end of March Oksana finished her second Finnish residency at
Tapiola Guest Studio in Espoo (The Finnish Artist’s Studio Foundation)
and is moving to explore another area of Finland while
artist-in-residence at Art Centre Salmela in Mäntyharju. These
residencies are supported by the Ukrainian Solidarity Residency program.
Oksana Mykhanko was born in 1992 in Kolomyia, Ukraine. Mykhanko
graduated as a painter from Lviv National Academy of Arts.
Supporters: HIAP Ukraine Solidarity Residencies Programme / Kone Foundation / Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Svenska Kulturfonden / Pargas Stad / Sparbanksstiftelsen i Korpo / Maj Granlunds och Kate Björks fond