June 13, 2024


Life is art

FAU artist speaks out against Ukraine war through self-portait

The active streets Valeriia Pareichuk employed to walk in Kherson, Ukraine, are now loaded with burned-out properties as noticed on her television and telephone screens. About 5,000 miles from her spouse and children and good friends, she finds solace in her artwork and images to encourage peace.

“More men and women now know that Ukraine exists as a country,” Pareichuk explained. “This is some thing that is continue to going on and I’m happy I get to share our very pleased record, lifestyle, foodstuff, and we’ve often been that means to share it with everybody. Now, I can share and support attempt to be a component of the change as a result of pictures, art and a lot more to assistance raise awareness.”

She was born and elevated in Kherson, which is the southern part of Ukraine. Her hobbies involved using her camera and using pictures of her buddies, relatives and homeland scenery. She even remembers performing arts and crafts and getting pottery lessons.

“Our loved ones did approach to eventually move to the United States,” Pareichuk mentioned. “It took over 10 years then it transpired out of nowhere.”

(Valeriia Pareichuk / Courtesy)

In the center of her freshman year of high school in Kherson, her family gained a notification that they required to do the job on a few of a lot more files and they could go to the United States.

In February 2015, the now 22-calendar year-previous moved with her mother to Jacksonville whilst her father and his side of the relatives stayed in Ukraine.

“It’s been a prolonged journey,” Pareichuk reported. “Even while I’ve taken English lessons given that university in Ukraine, the to start with difficulty for me coming listed here truly was the language, and I didn’t talk English at the time.”

Within just a week of relocating from Ukraine to Jacksonville, she was enrolled in significant school. In the initial pair a long time, she said she appeared ahead to earning new pals and having good grades.

“Some of the other pupils realized what I was heading by way of,” Pareichuk claimed. “I didn’t have any Russian or Ukrainian pals and some of them had trouble communicating with me.”

She had to use Google Translate.

“I was just thrown into it all,” she mentioned. “I went that little additional mile to understand some a lot more [English] even from when I was in Ukraine and I realized having the likelihood to be in this article could possibly support with a bunch of prospects.”

She graduated large college and now attends Florida Atlantic College and life in Delray Beach front. At FAU, she researched architecture for two many years and now research studio arts, learning images and printmaking.

While at FAU, Pareichuk received information that Kherson was currently currently being occupied by the Russians, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians became refugees as a end result of Russia’s invasion that commenced Feb. 24.

“When a whole lot of individuals inquire me the place I’m from and I say Ukraine, a great deal of people didn’t know exactly where it is,” she reported. “But now, they just get so silent, quiet they never know what to say or they are like, ‘I’m so sorry.’”

The invasion happened the day prior to her birthday, and that night she could not sleep and she was frequently looking at Instagram to keep updated.

“I observed folks publishing that they by no means assumed they’d wake up to the audio of an explosion or a bomb or guns,” Pareichuk claimed.

She said a two-thirty day period dip into melancholy led her to not emotion perfectly sufficient to go to work or faculty, and she felt like there was not anything she could do.

“I was so puzzled,” Pareichuk stated. ”I started out texting my buddies and spouse and children associates.”

She nevertheless retains in contact with her father in Ukraine and he keeps her up to date on what’s going on in her hometown.

“This entire factor essentially occurred in 2014 with Crimea,” Pareichuk explained. “People don’t converse about this any longer and that tends to make me frightened due to the fact war, placing luggage about people’s heads using them to a basement and questioning them, using individual documents absent is harassment that can go on for a long time and no person must go as a result of that.”

She is possessing problems remaining in touch with her father and buddies for the reason that the internet relationship has been disrupted.

“At very first, I didn’t know how I’m likely to get as a result of it,” Pareichuk mentioned. “I just felt so hopeless since I’m so considerably absent and I want I could be there in the moment to be there for everyone. I’m so much absent, but there’s something I can still do by my art and I can speak out on this.”

She decided to speak out on this by inventive expression. She likes to perform in different mediums but mostly concentrates on electronic artwork and photography. She made a decision to use her images and digital artwork to spread recognition about what is heading on and to converse out about the war in Ukraine.

An instance is the Ukrainian nationwide gown, termed vyshyvanka, specified to her household by her godmother. Pareichuk crafted the headpiece, took self-portraits and integrated distinct and symbolic flowers. The blue-and-yellow ribbons hooked up to the back symbolize the sky and the fields of wheat. These are usually worn on holiday seasons and distinctive events by women and youthful single gals.

(Valeriia Pareichuk / Courtesy)

In her self-portrait series, she required to stand for beauty, satisfaction and hope. Even although she’s by no means utilized herself as a product, she desired to be the subject to express purely natural emotion about how she felt about Ukraine becoming beneath siege.

“For the self-portrait, I had various people today equally in Ukraine and in this article domestically telling me they can really feel what I feel through that collection and understand,” Pareichuk reported.

She also preferred everybody to know that she is proud to be Ukrainian and that they will go on to benefit and carry on their abundant tradition and record.

The sunflower is included in most of these works due to the fact it is the countrywide flower of Ukraine. Some of her photographs are manufactured with a film camera, and her digital illustrations these types of as the battle boot over the sunflowers symbolize the destruction and demolishment of the country, its folks and sites.

(Valeriia Pareichuk / Courtesy)

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“The sunflower is a metaphor,” Pareichuk claimed, “like how it grows toward the sunlight and it will usually get up.”

Despite striving to split Ukrainians apart, this invasion has only made them much better and nearer to every single other, she stated.

“The first just one I did was the Ukrainian lady and it was a electronic artwork, and it was a female putting on the traditional Ukrainian clothes and obtaining tears appear down her facial area,” Pareichuk mentioned. “It felt so very good to share that. It assisted me to get via this whole matter and even nevertheless I’m so considerably away, I can even now speak out on this and persons get a much better being familiar with that Ukraine is an unbiased nation.”

(Valeriia Pareichuk / Courtesy)

After correctly sharing her artwork and pictures with family, professors, classmates and buddies, Pareichuk was a element of the on the net 2022 FAU Senior Exhibition “Exploration Via Expression,” a showcase of presenting pupil work. She was also element of a drawing exhibition that was also Ukraine-similar, utilizing colored pencils to make an abstract structure around her self-portrait.

“It introduced a great deal of publicity and thoughts,” Pareichuk claimed. “I was grateful for that, and it reveals folks nonetheless care … and to be educated on the culture and what’s continue to taking place.”

Pareichuk’s pictures abilities have also gone outside of the FAU campus with delivers to take portraits and set up photoshoots.

“People explain to me they never see [the war] on the information as considerably any longer and they talk to me, ‘is it above?’ and I say no, it is not and people today are nevertheless struggling from this,” she claimed. “But we have gotten a ton of help from a number of international locations, and if you have ever wanted to protect your tradition and what you are very pleased of, then you are Ukraine. I have my minor yellow-and-blue ribbons tied to my vehicle and I’m happy more people today now know Ukraine’s tradition, design and style, and I’m happy I get to share that as substantially as achievable.”