Project MARIA

Lesia Maruschak

2018 - Ongoing

Her sister Ksenya sleeping cold and dead in the bed beside her, her father imprison and beaten returning home only to die, her mother falling asleep just before supper never to wake. The traumatic memories of Maria F., a survivor of the 1932-33 Holodomor (genocide-famine) in Soviet Ukraine, currently residing in Canada, are among those I carry. I have known three survivors and their recollections are like echoes; their memories mirror traumas now embedded in in my identity, as a Canadian of Ukrainian descent. They have life in the DNA of future generations. Taken from the internet, my personal family collection, authenticated archival documents and digital photographs taken in Ukraine and on the Canadian prairies, to reflect my emotional and intellection manifestation of the Holodomor, the project images encompass abstract portraiture, large scale scenes (1 x 4 meter) and small objects likened to Byzantine icons. Mediated digitally, overpainted with biological matters and pigments submersed in egg tempera, and hand worked and waxed these works reflect not only the memory of their making but also the haunting, eternal quality of individual, family and collective memories passed from generation to generation. Memory, history and trauma are transfigured finding voice and place in our time.

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  • My Doll // The Chosen (Walking in search of food)

  • Four Million Prayers

  • Damnation // My Brother Died Too

  • Four Fish To Sell

  • Red Roses Are For Betrayal

  • I Remember When Mother Died

  • The Horse Died Next

  • Blue Child // Requiem

  • Transfiguration