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Kitchen Conversation with Ukrainian Artists Marta Romankiv and Tatyana Ostapenko

We remind two podcasts with Ukrainian artists in solidarity with Ukraine.

Marta Romankiv

Marta Romankiv is an artist born in Lviv, Ukraine who has been living and working in Poland for the past five years. 

She graduated from the Pedagogical University in Cracow and the Academy of Art in Szczecin. When asked to describe her artistic practice, Romankiv likes to use the term “socially engaged.”

As part of her residency in Biennale Warsaw, Romankiv organised a social campaign ‘Immigrant, take a vote’, thanks to which immigrants living in the country could vote for the president of Poland. The symbolic elections were held in six Polish cities, before the first round of the presidential election. The primary aim of the campaign was to start a conversation about the rights of immigrants living in Poland.

After hearing about her project from various media channels I decided to contact Romankiv and arrange an online Kitchen Conversation. We began by discussing her idea and motivation to organise the symbolic elections. We then reflected on concepts such as citizenship, nationality, borders and more. During our talk we also touched upon the type of work she creates under the label of art and what advantages and disadvantages it brings.

Insta: marta.romankiv 


Tatyana Ostapenko

Tatyana Ostapenko is a contemporary painter born and raised in Soviet Ukraine. She’s been living and working in Portland, Oregon, USA since many years now. 

Tatyana holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Practice from Portland State University. Discovering the craft of painting at a mature age, Tatyana realised that this is the only way she can truly express herself and her artistic vision. Through her studio works, as well as large scale mural paintings, Tatyana attempts to heal trans-generational trauma and questions tradition. 

During our Kitchen Conversations, we spoke about her love for painting and her ongoing fascination with the figure of a mature, overworked old woman – the colloquial babushka. Her pictorial depictions of women dressed in characteristic, for the Eastern European countryside, female garments and many other symbols of the often forgotten and “unsexy” East, record the reality of those who usually don’t make it into official historical records. 

The images that inspire her paintings are moments and memories from her native Ukraine. The textiles, colours, patterns, and moods give her a way to connect with her childhood and process the complex question of identity. Despite being so sight specific, Tatyana’s work speaks about universal human experience. What’s more, it is full of empathy and celebrates resilience in the face of adversity.

Instagram: @postsovietart

Main image: AGNIESZKA SROKOSZ / UKRAINE / 2022

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About The Author

Patrycja
Rozwora

Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

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