Pop-Up Exhibition by Oksana Briukhovetska

Portraits of Sisterhood

Exhibition opening: July 11, 2023., 18.00-20.00

Venue: Lehetőségek tere, 1083 Budapest, Práter u 63.

On the opening the artist will be in conversation with art historian Edit András.

"The manual labor of textiles connects me to memories of my grandmothers’ craft-making practices. I learned my textile skills from my grandmother as a child. The appreciation of textile forms in art came during the rise of the feminist movement and women’s struggle for equal access in the previously male dominated art world. Textile works possess a symbolic meaning about women’s agency, and still reference the semiotics of craft and question the hierarchy.

In the presented works, the women’s characters play the main roles. From the female portraits of my grandmother’s archive to the politically charged female images on the poster of the 1960s, or in references to African-American artist Faith Ringgold’s quilt that represents women’s empowerment, women's portraiture reveals its intimate and political power. Through this work I reflect on history and current tragic political upheavals. The family portraits made after the Second World War, became a part of a bigger national and historical narrative, and the war experience of my grandparents serve as a background on which the devastation of the current Russian war in Ukraine unfolds.

Sewing and fabric collaging has a therapeutic effect for me. The necessity of being focused on an elaborate performance with my fingers, the slowing down of time, and the impossibility of doing this work in a rush creates an effect of calming and healing. It helped me to find a sense of purpose through art making during the time of tragic events that lack respect for human life. Sewing pieces of fabric together became like trying to sew up wounds." (Oksana Briukhovetska)

Oksana Briukhovetska is an artist, writer, and researcher who is currently focused on textile collage as a form of storytelling and healing. She was born in Ukraine, works and lives in Kyiv. She has degrees from Lviv School of Applied Arts, the National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, and recently completed an MFA degree at Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Her MFA project, the textile collage installation Songs and Flowers for Ukraine, was her response as an artist to the Russian war in Ukraine. She works as graphic designer and artist and writes about art for various Ukrainian and international journals. She worked in the Visual Culture Research Center in Kyiv as a curator, where, among others, she curated the international feminist exhibitions Motherhood; What in me is Feminine?; TEXTUS. Embroidery, Textile, Feminism; Women’s Texts. In 2018 she was co-curator of the exhibition Neighbors in Warsaw, Poland, and also curated a public poster-campaign titled I am Ukrainka about Ukrainian women migrant workers. She researched and performed interviews on feminist art in East Europe and France for the Tandem-Ukraine program and was co-editor of the book The Right to Truth. Conversations on Art and Feminism (VCRC, Kyiv, 2019). From 2020-2021, she researched race and racism in the United States, interviewing participants of the Black Lives Matter protests to create and publish a book about BLM in Ukraine. She was awarded The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory for her curatorial practice in Ukraine and East Europe, The Hopwood Graduate Fiction Award and The Chamberlain Award for my Creative Writing.

Oksana will hold a workshop on July 14 in the framework of The Space of Opportunity's Urban Camp.

Main partner of tranzit is ERSTE Stitung.

Songs and Flowers for Ukraine, 2023 textile collage installation by Oksana Briukhovetska