Collection: CRIMEA | Olga Rybalko

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VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH OLGA RYBALKO HERE

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Crimea is a chronicle of deep ancestral anecdotes embedded in the contested peninsula of conquerors, kingdoms and khans. 

Olga Rybalko weaves in childhood memories, Russian folklore and Crimean history throughout her creative process.  She boldly embraces her artistic journey and moves viewers to a place of acknowledgment and emotional yearning.  

Rich oil paintings reveal soulful brushstrokes, balanced symmetry and exquisite use of chiaroscuro.  

Crimea is a pivotal body of work bound by thematic significance and wondrous beauty.

 - curator, Paul Becker

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Artist Statement:

Crimea is my birth place. 

The question of identity came up in conversation with a friend, and I realized that I didn’t have a good answer for her. Do I feel Ukranian because that’s the country I was born in? Do I feel Russian because that’s the language I grew up speaking? Or do I feel Canadian because I’ve now spent more conscious years in Canada than I did growing up in Crimea? I’d have to say I never felt strongly either way, as I am a combination of it all. 

Reaching deep for threads of connection, I found many of these threads tied to Crimea, the place with a Mediterranean landscape and a history as long as human existence on this planet. The thread of connection turned out to be a deeply tangled ball of yarn. Like myself, Crimea doesn’t seem to know its identity as it’s been influenced and occupied by so many different regimes. 

Its complex history is marked by Ottoman raids,  slave  trade,   wars  and  conquests, battles on the sea, not to mention the recent events of annexation. 

But that’s not what I remember about Crimea. I remember beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters, pine trees clinging to the cliffs above, swimming in the sea and eating Chebureki (a traditional Crimean Tatar dish like a deep fried turnover that is as addictive as it is delicious). I remember climbing around the Greek ruins at Khersones oblivious to their history, or walking up to the ancient Genoese tower in Balaklava or visiting the Fountain of Tears built by the Crimean Khans. I would learn about the legends and myths behind these places, and my imagination would run wild. The bear mountain would come alive, I could see the great Khan who fell in love with a beautiful Polish girl in his Harem, or Catherine the Great touring through the same streets where I walked.  

These stories are inseparable from who I am.  

Crimea is me, and I am Crimea.

- Olga Rybalko

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Produced & Curated by: Art Rapture
Presenting Sponsor: Low Tide Properties
Charitable partner: Writer's Exchange

Exhibition:  CRIMEA | Olga Rybalko
Opening:  June 4, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (RSVP only)
Exhibition Day:  June 5, 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (all ages welcome)
Location:  191 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC

If you wish to attend during the RSVP only evening on June 4, please email: gaby@artrapture.com
You will have the option of 7pm-8pm or 8pm-9pm time slot. (must email Gaby to be on the guest list).
June 5 Exhibition - no RSVP required, first come first serve basis.

*COVID safety measures will be in place as per BC gov recommendations*
Olga Rybalko Instagram
Art Rapture Instagram

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