RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur

Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur

07.04.2018 | art, Ukraine, personalities
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.

A woman born in province of Ukraine who didn’t even graduated from a seven-year school – her parents thought that school was too high-maintenance – could hardly dream of an artist of Picasso’s league calling her a genius. It will happen when she is be over 50. But before that “obsessed” Kateryna from Bogdanivka (a village in Kyiv region) will have to go through a lot.

Her life can probably make for a great script of a hit Hollywood biopic. Sneers of people around since very childhood because of useless “inartistic daubery”, hard work of a countrywoman, no chance to try and study somewhere because without school graduation certificate further education was unassailable, unsuccessful suicide attempt that would resound till the rest of her life in aching legs, despotic parents… Kind and forgiving Bilokur was going through difficulties with dignity her whole life.

And not just going – she was creating! She would sit in fields for hours, painting details of flowers and grass from life like a maniac. It resulted in famous “Decorative flowers”, “Hello Harvest”, “Birch” and other masterpieces. Her strive for education was so strong that after hard farming work she was spending nights studying engineering, creating brushes for herself and perfecting various pictorial art styles to become a hardworking rural woman early in the morning.

It all turned out fruitful – destiny thanked her by granting one chance out of a million. In 1939, when nameless Bilokur was already 39, she heard a song of Oksana Petrusenko on the radio. The voice of the singer sank so deeply into the heart of a “weirdo” from a village that Kateryna wrote her a letter, put a small picture of viburnum to the envelope and sent it to a strange address: Kyiv, Academic Theatre, to Oksana Petrusenko.

Miracle or not, but the letter ended up in right hands. Petrusenko was getting lots of grateful responses but it was the first time she saw a picture so beautiful and vivid… And then Act 3 of a Hollywood biopic began: intellectual in Kyiv found out about an amazing woman and helped her arrange for several exhibitions that blew out of the water both critics and ordinary picture art lovers…

After the war Kateryna Vasylivna joined the Union of Artists, was awarded several prizes, her works set on a tour to European countries: Spain, France and Italy where they were ranked together with best masters of those times. Nevertheless, she never abandoned native village. Sick relatives, family house and, sure enough, fields of flowers didn’t let her go. And although Kyiv and Moscow were luring not a “weirdo” by then but a People’s Artist of Ukraine with her pictures studied at universities and academies, she stayed anyway. She only absented herself several times to have rest at Guest House for Artists. Bilokur died in 1961 at the age of 60…

There are always creators, who made it into textbooks for their accomplishments yet young people don’t study them much, sometimes they don’t know them at all. But acknowledgement of future generations is a significant point. Here is what modern masters of brush from Kyiv studio “Maya’s Workshop” say about Bilokur and her influence on Ukrainian picture art:

Maya Proskurnya: It is her in her every work. In her authentic and bold way Kateryna Bilokur was painting what was inspiring her, making her happy, winning her heart, touching and exciting her. World around the artist is presented “in her own style” that cannot but be distinguished. I’d call it the symbol of decorative picture art in Ukraine. And it doesn’t matter whether one had been taking academic painting classes for 15 years or not. I know many great guys with perfect professional education but they feel sick at a sight of a canvas – over the years of education they fell out of love with both art and their talent.

One has to put soul into own work, elaborate every detail with love. That’s what Kateryna Bilokur used to do. Why so many flowers? Because she was fascinated with them and she preserved life of every petal in her works. No wonder she was noticed and recognized – so “non-realistic” yet at the same time “vivid” canvases paved the way for a self-taught artist to big-time art.

Nina Murashkina: It seems to me that Kateryna Vasylivna still influences artists with her honesty in approach to a canvas: she only painted what she loved. Not Stalin, not self-sacrificing collective farmers but flowers. She was creating her every work over a long time and with immense quality. Both now and in her times it is hard to come across an artist who would dig into every finger-sized flower with both eyes and brush! Even more so today with universal use of photos and printing. For every person who begins painting, Bilokur is a powerful stimulus not to stop!

The word is that when Picasso saw works of “a citizen of Bohdanivka village” he said: “If we had an artist with such level of skills, we would have made the whole world talk about her!” Unfortunately, USSR was no Spain. When Bilkur wqas creating, no one thought about technologies to preserve her painting and she herself simply didn’t know any of them. In merely 50 years her masterpieces are no longer subject to transportation so they don’t leave Ukraine anymore.

It will be interesting:
The Ambassador Elena Leticia Teresa Mikusinski held a diplomatic reception, the world-famous Argentine singer Gerónimo Rauch became an honored guest
The Column Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration on June 11 welcomed guests of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Ukraine on the occasion of a national holiday. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, representatives of the government and its agencies, partners of the embassy, the business community and the media lined up to congratulate the head of a foreign diplomatic institution and express their greetingss to friendly Argentina.
Let's have a seat!
Walking along the Kyiv Landscape Alley, you always notice amazing benches created by Ukrainian masters. My favorite one is with a blanket and a pillow, because it seems comfortable even in inclement weather. Sitting on it, I remembered a picture from my childhood: the grandmothers take a long board out of the house, put it at one end on the stump, the other - on the railing of the entrance, and it turns out to be a bench. Wasn't it a design miracle?
Art of topiary
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Know Ukrainians: Anatoliy Kokush
Cinematography is probably the most "technological" art form that mankind has ever come up with – no matter how much talent, imagination and energy creators of a movie have, almost every stage of creation process one way or another comes to technologies; and without them ideas will remain just ideas.
Step over threshold: The magical art of the huichol
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
White gold of Tianxia. Chinese porcelain
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
GDIP celebrates its 27th anniversary and the Diplomats offer congratulations!
On May 16, 2019, Embroidery Day and the 27th anniversary of the founding of the State Enterprise “Directorate-General for Rendering Services to Diplomatic Missions” were celebrated at the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theatre.
Charitable dance. Foreign diplomats attended the annual ball in the IIR
The Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and personally the director Valerii Kopiika invited everyone to support the student initiative of the Charity Ball IIR-2019.
Belgian lace: Waltz of a thousand threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops.
Life on water: 7 little-known Venice competitors
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
The most stunning flower fields in the world
Flower fields and valleys are impressive and attract attention of the most discerning connoisseurs of beauty. Multi-coloured deposits of fragrant plants adorn vast valleys of almost every country, in the most distant parts of the world. We offer several options for such floral carpets for every taste.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Wives of foreign diplomats attended the lecture dedicated to Ukrainian traditions
On Wednesday, April 9, 2019, on the initiative and organizational support of the SE "Directorate General for Rendering Services for Diplomatic Missions", the international women's club ASCK in the National Centre of Folk Culture "Museum of Ivan Gonchar" a lecture dedicated to the traditional Ukrainian women's dress was held.
Ukrainian gardens of Babylon
Have you ever noticed how parks attrack us when it gets warmer outside? And what happens when you suddenly get there? Time stands still, something starts pulsating inside you, and your body seems to plant out fresh sprouts. OUTLOOK encourages you to visit the most beautiful arboreta of Ukraine, which you will exit feeling double alive.
Yummy fingers: What awaits you behind scenes of the world best kitchens
Can you remember the most unusual dish that you had ever a chance to try? You decide what kind of food it was: something exotic; those insects that we can hardly imagine as an ingredient; strange drink with a bitter taste; an unexpected combination of bitter and sour... Everyone has his or her own unforgettable experience in this regard. Today we would like to tell our readers about unusual and prominent chefs of the world, and even without reference to their era.
Museums that cure
“I’d like some headache elixir, mandrake root extract, heart pills and a bit of morphine, please…” – this is about how patients addressed pharmacists a couple hundred years ago. They, in turn, were preparing various magmas and mixtures in pharmacological laboratories situated as near as in the next room. Sure, nowadays technologies have significantly advanced, “remedy stores” fit in kiosks while drug-containing medicines cannot be bought without prescription…
Shadows in Paradise: The way modern art surprises the Lovers of the unconventional
A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all. Shadow alone is enough.
History of the street: Dmytro Yavornytsky Avenue
With this feature on the main street of Dnipro, Dmytro Yavornytsky Avenue, we continue our rubric, dedicated to the history of differnt streets. Dmytro Yavornytsky Avenue is not just a central and most important street of Dnipro in every respect – it is also the picture of the many-centuries-long history of the city.
Kamasan: Village of masterpieces in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
I came, I saw, I built. Masterpieces of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Close
Outlook facebook page