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Painting (MA)

Olha Pryymak

I have lived in England longer than anywhere else at this point, including Canada and the USA, arriving there on a student scholarship from Ukraine in my teens. The nurturing relationships developed along the way helped me build up the confidence and give myself the permission to experiment, show off my roots and paint. Here are some of the experiences that I am especially grateful for: 

Bulldog Bursary and mentorship with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, residency at Dumfries House in Scotland by the Prince’s Trust and the Royal Drawing School, Florence Trust residency, London Creative Network/SPACE program, residency at Phytology Bethnal Green Nature Reserve and the most recent–Off Site painting program with the Turps Banana. 

Photo by Tami Soji-Akinyemi

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

My current work is driven by deep curiosity in plant-human relationships, using plants and oil paint to think through those. Painting allows for paying undivided attention to what I deem most important at the moment: the emotional flavour of lived experiences with the environment, the way that plans make you feel, savouring each brushstroke as a point of meditation on this interdependent relationship–a response to the eco-anxiety causing greater grief than any single human conflict at this point.

Her dead body pressed nicely, still smelling grassy and looking fabulous (Nettle), 120 x195 cm, oil in canvas, 2021

Medium:

oil on canvas

Size:

120 x195 cm
Well, f**k that. Shall we go in and see the show? 2 of 2, 75x120 cm, oil on canvas, 2021
I would like to make my personal feed yummier so it’s nice to come back ‘home' again, 93x132 cm, oil on canvas, 2021
I would like to make my personal feed yummier so it’s nice to come back 'home' again, detail, 93x132 cm, oil on canvas, 2021
Well, f**k that.Shall we go in and see the show?, 1 of 2, 75x120 cm, oil on canvas, 2021

Medium:

oil on canvas

Size:

93x132 cm

It all started with the invasion of eastern part of Ukraine by Russia in 2014. To process the emotions from following the news reports, I have re-painted the images of it appearing in media–painting one small oil on board almost every day for a year. In reaction to this I’ve gone really micro (the war is still dragging on): moving away from identifying poison to finding nourishment–burrowing down into my family peasant herbalism roots. That’s how since about 2015 herbal tea has became an integral part of my practice, becoming the subject and the medium for embodied listening and thinking. Ongoing participatory performances over tea, adapted from folk ritual, have opened up the conversations on the macro subject of the relationship with nature.   Having been staged at the studio, nature reserve, church and the white cube gallery, in the past two years the tea sessions have also taken up space online.   

If you’d like to participate in one such virtual tea session–email me at  7250860@network.rca.ac.uk with a time of your choice during the WIP weekend 28-29 January and I’ll confirm with the details and a zoom link. The sessions are usually 1:2:1, although it is also ok for two or three to participate at one time. I normally mail the participants the tea herbs in advance of the session. Because of short notice please be ready for the session with your own herbal or any other hot drink of your choice.   



Medium:

virtual participatory performance

Size:

variable