The distance between Ukraine and Australia is about 13000 km but thanks to the efforts of the Australian Embassy in Ukraine and Triptych: Global Arts Workshop it gets less through such cultural events like ‘OLD MASTERS – Australia’s Great Bark Artists’ Exhibition.
On 25 January, the Australian Embassy in Ukraine with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the National Museum of Australia presented 'Old Masters – Australia’s Great Bark Artists' in Triptych: Global Arts Workshop. This exhibition features outstanding artworks from some of the finest Australian Indigenous artists of the twentieth century. Bark painting is one of the great traditions of world art, which has been practised by Aboriginal artists of Arnhem Land (Northern Territory, Australia) for millennia.
Read:Art Museums in Kyiv
When you see these works for the first time, it seems that they are completely different from everything you’ve seen before. But later when you take a closer look and read the description to the paintings, you understand that there are some common features with traditional Ukrainian prints in terms of its mission. The art of ancient Ukrainians as well as art of Australian Aboriginals reflected the life of people with their traditions and beliefs, and it served as a teaching aid for the next generations about culture of their ancestry.
The works are literally made of the land, on bark stripped from trees with ochres ground from the earth. Bark painting, as practised for millennia by Aboriginal artists of Arnhem land, in Australia’s north, was only recognized in the 20th century as belonging to the great tradition of world art.
This exhibition coincides with Australia Day (26 January) celebrations, and is part of a program throughout 2017 to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Ukraine, as well as marking 70 years of Ukrainian settlement in Australia.
“We are delighted to introduce to Ukrainian audiences this collection of remarkable and stunning images – examples of a traditional art form produced by the world’s oldest continuing culture,” said Bruce Edwards, Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy. “It is especially fitting to display these pieces by the descendants of Australia’s original inhabitants on the occasion of Australia Day in Kyiv.”
The exhibition will be on show at Triptych: Global Arts Workshop, 34 Andriyivskyy Descent, Kyiv starting from 25 January till 12 February with a cultural program running throughout the duration. Further details will be announced through the gallery website (www.t-gaw.com/exhibitions).
After being shown in Kyiv, 'Old Masters' will be on display in Lviv (17 February – 3 March) and in Kharkiv (11–25 March), with further locations across Ukraine to be unveiled in the coming months.
Bruce Edwards is the Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy in Ukraine.
Myroslava Hartmond is owner and managing director at Triptych: Global Arts Workshop and Research Associate at the Centre of International Studies, University of Oxford. She is a Cultural Leader with the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture & Creativity programme.
Triptych: Global Arts Workshop
34 Andriyivskyy Descent, Kyiv, UKRAINE 04 070 | +38 044 270 0759
Daily 11am – 6pm
Photos: by Sergey Udovik, provided by Triptych: Global Arts Workshop