“…Therefore, landscape cannot be successfully interpreted in literature by conventional descriptive methods. However, if one writer would think of shifting mutual roles of landscape and characters, then it would be an entirely different issue. The characters construed as plain cardboard muppets, as moving scenery may, however, instill the landscape description with a required dynamic (by means of the natural tendency of the reader to observe their movements, as if they were real and alive). Thus, the “landscape novel" might become quite readable. But no one had set such mission deliberately yet".
“Doctor Leonardo's Travels through
the Switzerland of Slobidska Ukraine
with His Future Lover, the Beautiful Alchesta"
The project By the River is inspired by three paintings of Hnat Tarasiuk. These are three paintings-repetitions representing the same plot and depicting the same action. However, they cannot be regarded as copies at any matter, they are more likely to resemble sequence of day alternations. The following characters are involved: the River, the Boat, the Woman in Red, the Man in Black, Trees, Flowers, Swans and other things you may think of when contemplating these landscapes. I am inclined to deem the impact of these paintings and naïve art in general on my works as heredity, since these pieces were painted by my grandfather: I gather from his works the frequent projects' repetitions, perception of the surroundings through conditional scenery.
By the River is a name of co-related series I've been working on for the last year and a half. Through my works created specially for this project I attempt to give a wider outlook at the world sincerely collected in quintessence by naïve painting. Plots and images are casually distributed in layers, stories about the trees on the other side of the River are told, as well as the stories about the things that she (River) hides on the bottom and about the boat voyage along her banks. Finally, the River becomes the protagonist, absorbing all the inherent symbolism. At times, she even erases the memory of the original source of inspiration and becomes an irresistible dominant.
Majority of the works were created at the art residence Velykyy Pereviz, which served as a foundation base for a specific kind of art research and reconstruction of landscapes from my grandad's paintings. The landscapes that may be repeated from day to day, both in plots and metaphorically. The background taken from the naïve paintings – a real river, trees, branches as stencils for the image - becomes of the foremost importance.
It's quite difficult to squeeze the entire story of the project into one space. Only a book may serve as such space, it adds up another dimension – time. The pages of the book share with us the stories about the River, the Boat, the Woman in Red, the Man in Black, Trees, Flowers, Swans and other things you may think of when contemplating these landscapes.This book may be called By the River (abridged), as even the most exacting spectator will not be interested in turning over hundreds of pages with semi-abstract landscapes, project sketches and pictures of wild nature. So, let's follow Yohansen's advice: the book won't be long, but it will be self-consistent showing all the parts of the project through the stories of the people by the water. Let's leave for the nearest future the original artworks by Hnat Tarasiuk, video reconstruction of the plot and extended communication between a man and a woman. To be continued.
We greatly appreciate support and assistance provided by the art residence Velykyy Pereviz and specifically Tamara and Oleksandr Babak and Yurii Oslamoskyi.