The Pearl of Ukranian Traditional Art
Submitted by Editor on Mon, 11/28/2016 - 11:51
Long ago, in the 17th century, the inhabitants of a small village Petrykivka which is located in Dnipropetrovsk oblast, painted walls of their houses, clothes, householditems and musical instruments with a special ornament. It included fantastic flowers, different natural elements and local animals. This art was used as guardian. Some symbols kept their owners from fire and other dangers; some were supposed to bring happiness and harmony in houses. For example, roots and birds were widely used in this case, they protected people from evil.
Petrykivka paintings reflected spiritual unity of human and nature; also they symbolized the idea of cycling life that is found in the tradition of yearly repainting houses. This tradition took placeannually in spring and also satisfied the human`s needs in renewing their lives by repainting walls every year with different ornaments.
From very young ages all local people, especially girls, learned the subtleties of this ornamental folk art. Every family had at least one member who was aware of technics of Petrykivka painting.
During that time from primary school to college in all grades, pupils studied basics of this traditional art, practiced it and improved their skills for many years. This passion and responsibility toward their traditional and unique technic of decorative art can be explained by the fact that in every Ukrainianvillage all habitants respected traditions and those kinds of handicrafts which passed to them from ancestors.
Painting traditions of this folk decorative painting such as symbolism of ornamental elements were changed, updated and supplemented from one generation to another. But even nowadays modern and renewed Petrykivka paintings have their ancient traditional charm.
The consonant synthesis of the experiencein different generations of craftsmen formed traditions of universal methods of Petrykivka paintings. It is based on a popular worldview that provides free expression for the creative personality of every artist.
Materials which were used for creating pieces of art in Petrykivka technique also changed. Many years ago backgrounds of paintings were only white, people usually decorated houses, using wide round brushes made from cat fur and paints from natural dyes. Then artists started to use paper, wooden planks and dishes, different colors of background (black, green, and blue) and many types of brushes and oil paints. Only one part of Petrykivka painting is flora and fauna which was painted in different combinations and forms.
The main element of ornamental Petrykivka painting is the flower — a symbol of lush nature. The most used flowers which adorn folk masterpieces are hollyhocks, peonies, asters, a variety of wild flowers, and even those flowers which are invented by masters themselves. Due to this, on the walls and crockery was formed an own special world of beauty and inspiration with those flowers.
Bright colors and saturated shades dominated in the ornament, which attracted people`s attention by their integrity of creative ideas. The simplicity of the paintings actually conceals a long and painstaking work of the artist, who delicately painted the tiniest details of the picture.
Petrykivka decorative painting has potential opportunities foran ancient and eternally young folk art to enter into the sphere of modern life, enriching the national and world culture. That is why Petrykivka is famous and widely used, respected not only in Ukraine but also around the world. It isn`t strange to see, for example,a plate decorated with Petrykivka painting, items of clothing or even walls in modern kitchens of Europe and USA.
A variety of flowers, leaves and berries of Petrykivka painting, motivates looking at the masterpieces of folk painting for hours. It comes as no surprise, that in 2013 this unique folk art was listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage in UNESCO.
Touch these light sources; feel the life-giving power of generous beauty that turns people’s lost paradise with nature and the world.