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Division of Research and the revival of arts and crafts and exhibitions

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Art-quilting is not just needlework, it is a true art

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altRare works of art, the paintings of cloth, which are very popular in Europe now, can be seen at the international exhibition The Fantasy and Reality of Art Quilting, opened on August 21, 2012, at the Kharkiv Centre of Culture and Art. The works by famous masters, working in art quilting technique, from Ukraine and Russia are presented here.

Тетяна Ішенко

‘Our center presents the works of folk arts and crafts, and we try to show various trends,’ Tetiana Ishchenko, the Director of the Kharkiv Center of Culture and Art, said during the opening. ‘We have already held exhibitions of different techniques of textile, but this is the first time we show the art quilting. This is a fairly new trend, it combines all possible textile techniques, like batik, tapestry, felting, embroidery and quilting. The authors presented today must be some of the best craftsmen engaged in this art. They have participated in exhibitions across Europe. You know, there is a kind of attitude, as they say, the quilting, patchwork is the primitive art, a work for housewives. But we have shown that art quilting could be called art.’

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown


The authors of the works presented at the exhibition not just sew the pieces, they draw with machine stitches and fabric pieces. They make a little sketch before working, and then they start the real work. Each art-quilter has his own copyright technology and secrets.

The exhibition presents the paintings on various subjects, you can see both abstract and realistic paintings. However, this certainly is styling. For example, the painting Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown depicting multicolored lady, surrounded by a cloud of dragonflies, sends the viewer restless state.

Ірина Фоміна

"The prototype for this painting was the heroine of the Spanish film of 1960, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,’ Iryna Fomina, the author from Kharkiv, says. ‘First, I wanted to convey the spirit of the era of the 60s, but I have not composed the image, and then my daughter (she is an artist) drew on paper, I added a little from myself and sewed this picture. As a result, it is no longer the image of the heroine of the old film, but my daughter’s and my understanding of the woman’s stress state.’

Iryna Fomina has been fascinated by showing the inner world of women, and she has accumulated a lot of works depicting the turbulent emotions, feelings, instance of female nature. However, the artist says, such quilt-psychology is not in demand, flowers and landscapes are more popular as something more realistic and clear.

Sewed French Impressionist Painting

Людмила Кривенко

Liudmyla Kryvenko, another exhibiting, from Kirovograd, almost all her life worked as an editor, and only after she has gone out on a well deserved retirement 5 years ago, she has been fascinated by quilting. But through this time her works have highly appreciated at the exhibitions, both in Ukraine and abroad.

‘I use different techniques in my work, these are scrappy smalt, stained glass, bordzhello, craze, chenille, decorative stitch, convergence bands,’ Liudmyla Kryvenko says. ‘I like bright colors, so when it was necessary to create a series of paintings of stylized to the graph (in black and white), it was a torture for me. But when I've been invited to participate in a competition in France, named Like a Picture, where a work based on a painting by a French artist had to be done, I enthusiastically made ​​the image of the painting of a modern French impressionist.’

At this exhibition, her black-and-white styling works and colourful landscapes amaze. For example, the clusters of mountain ash which the first snow fell on. You really want to come and touch it, is the snow natural? This is unbelievable that such works are not done by professional artists.

The Blue February with 3D-elements


Oksana Vinichenko from Russia has got education in Arts, but in heavy early nineties, when she has had two little children, it was not up to painting, and she has implemented her creativity in patchwork. Now her paintings are known in many countries, and The Blue February with 3D-elements bypassed the covers of many popular magazines in Europe.

‘A master from Belgium, whom I met on the Internet, invited me to participate in the competition Around the Blue Fabric, in the Hungarian town of Papa. The task of the competition was to buy the blue fabric and sew a quilt, I sewed a road from home to work in winter, in Suzdal, along the path – the houses, churches, trees, magpies. My work won the audience prize,’ Oksana Vinichenko says.

She is an activist of the Patchwork Community on the Internet, which now includes about 4,500 members. Ksenia has overseen one of the projects, the exchange of textile postcards. The Christmas tree topic was suggested, and the masters from around the world made cards and then exchanged them with each other by draw. Ksenia has already gathered a lot of such postcards. She called on everyone to join this exchange movement and even held a workshop on making this type of art quilting.

A Workshop of Making Textile Cards

Майстер-клас від Оксани Вініченко

‘The world standard size is 10 to 15. You can use anything for textile postcards, beads, felt, machine embroidery,’ the Russian master said during the workshop. ‘And today, I’d like to talk of a unique technique which needs no stitching. We take German materials for this, nonwoven fabric is produced in Russia, it is dense and hard vlies, but not the glue vlies. If you make quilts, the scrappy rubbish is gathered (scraps of golden threads, fabric), we gather them in jars, packets. Then we spread this art collection on our base (on the rough side), add some accents (you can even use flowers and leaves from a herbarium). In Germany, the fabric of vliesofix is manufactured in Germany, we use it for applications. Thus the pieces which we cut, we put on the glue warp, iron them through the paper warp, then we cut the paper, and this piece will not crumble. This is for applications. And you can take this vliesofix and paint it with any acrylic fabric paint, I usually take the paint for children’s art. We have painted, dried during 24 hours. If faster, then the piece will be wrong. And now it can be easily separated from the paper. That’s it, the colored glue film. We won’t cut it as ugly dead lines will come out, just tear it off. We put it in such a way that our art rubbish is covered, but some threads are to be left in free flight. We fix it with the help of iron, not through any paper, but through that one which the vliesofix has been fixed to, then it will not stick. Now we need to cool the piece, making such movements like using a fan. Here we’ve finally got a postcard.’

You can admire the works of art made of fabric in the Kharkiv Centre of Culture and Art up to September, 27. The exhibition is located in the exhibition hall of the building ground floor on Pushkinskaya Street 62.

Opening hours: 10.00 to 17.30 (closed on Sundays).

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