Meet Yevgeniya Mikhailik: SHOUTOUTLA

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 8:47 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

SHOUTOUTLA

Interview posted February 21, 2021


Hi Yevgeniya, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?

It wasn’t so much a deliberate decision as it was a natural course of evolution for me. I was never interested in pursuing anything that did not involve making things, be it a hobby, an education or a career. Growing up, drawing and making things with my hands was a source of great joy and a way of learning about the world, so it never occurred to me to stop. I think a lot of it had to do with my family which has a lot of people in creative fields, so developing my interests and skills in that direction was encouraged and nurtured from early on. That’s not to say that I had a particularly clear idea of what a career in the arts would look like, I’m still figuring it out! No two paths are alike in the arts and not having a clear roadmap is both a point of anxiety and a thrill. But I never had a plan B because I never really questioned that I would make art or be in a creative field of some kind, which over the years has included teaching as well as making sure other people’s art gets seen.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I work primarily in drawing and painting. I’m interested in our methods of connecting and identifying with the natural world, and our role in and responsibility to the fragile ecosystems that comprise it. A lot of my work addresses landforms and plants as beings, as a way to create a connection between these entities and our own experiences, and to consider the same kind of kinship and empathy for the evolving environment as we are capable of experiencing with each other. Following an artist residency in Ireland early last year, my exploration of this land-body connection has become more concentrated on prehistoric burial and ritual sites – mounds, barrows, dolmen – and their history, mythology and symbolism. These sites talk about the afterlife, or the passage between worlds, but often present as pregnancies in the landscape – swellings containing bodies. They highlight a connection to and a reverence for the natural world that the people building them had, and the immediacy of that connection is a striking contrast to our current disconnect, which is something I’m trying to explore in my work.

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