What the heroin wants is the main question (Чого хоче героїня-головне питання)

2023, acrylic, paper, 159,5 x 115,5 cm

When the Sun Sets East (Коли сонце сідає на Сході)

2024, acrylic, canvas, 410 x 220 cm

Bugs Carved a Flute (жуки вирізьбили флейту)

2024, acrylic, canvas, 50 x 70 cm

Three Plots Found in the Dust

2024, oil, canvas, 30 x 40 cm each

Tomb Sticks (Надгробні палиці)

2023, acrylic, canvas, 220 x 160 cm

We got front-row tickets (у нас квитки в перший ряд)

2023, acrylic, paper, 142 x 177 cm

Slow Plot Development (повільний розвиток сюжету)

2023, acrylic, paper, 211 x 142 cm

Ukrainian Garden (Український сад)

2022, acrylic, canvas, 160 x 200 cm

Neglected Part of the Garden (Закинута частина саду)

2022, acrylic, canvas, 220 x 160 cm

Double Cropland (подвійний врожай)

2022, acrylic, canvas,  300 x 200 cm


Almost everything I do can be perceived as love letters to the Ukrainian Donbas.

The contemplation of nature and the presence of war are two of the most vivid and sensual experiences in my life, and there are endless variations of their combination in my practice. Here comes the idea of a stolen landscape which you cannot approach even if it’s in front of your eyes because it’s either mined or occupied. I often use a form of unfolded close-up in my paintings to reveal the traces of tragedies which you cannot see from the first site, hidden beyond lush greenery.

For me, the view of the landscape from a distance contains a lot of room for imagination and a space that beckons. There is a lot of tension, especially when you can’t get close to it. Despite the presence of war, there is also a striking beauty and majesty in the abandoned landscapes in the east of Ukraine. Before the war they had some practical function, temporarily lost it and now live their own lives, taking on other forms.

All of my artworks are in one way or another dedicated to the Ukrainian Donbas – the pre-war Donbas and the way it has become, but also they are dedicated towards something eternal, something that exists beyond war. Sometimes all of these dimensions are present in one artwork in the form of a distortion of scale, space deformation, and inconsistency of plans.
The process of painting for me is like a walk and an adventure where I’m paying close attention to the details and later assemble them into a plot. Just with the brush stroke or a word I am able to touch these places, to caress them even the way they are now.

I think a lot about the fact that horror is actually very multicolored, and even when there is a war, the sky does not stop being blue and the grass is green. And without a human figure, the landscape ceases to be a background and fully becomes the main character.

The statement was created within the Secondary Archive project and was first presented on March 15, 2024.

Secondary Archive

Artist’s Bio

Kateryna Aliinyk was born in 1998 in Luhansk, Ukraine. Since the year of 2016 she has lived and worked in Kyiv. In 2021 she got her master’s degree in art in the National Academy Of Fine Arts And Architecture in Kyiv. In 2020 she completed a course in contemporary art in the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts and Methodfund’s contemporary arts course «Positions of the Artist». Her main mediums are painting and text. Kateryna mainly works with the topic of the landscape that was damaged from the war and occupation. She works through the images of nature and non-anthropocentric optics.

Participated in exhibitions: “Motherland”(2023), “EVA International”(2023), “From Ukraine. Dare to Dream in the World of Constant Fear”(2024), “Our Years, Our Words, Our Loses, Our Us”(2023), “State of emergence” (2022).

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