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Motanka dolls by Lviv artist Oksana Smereka-Malyk are exhibited in the Palace of Arts in Drohobych

A well-known Lviv master of decorative and applied arts Oksana Smereka-Malyk brought to the Drohobychyna Museum her author’s collection of rag dolls – “Oksana’s Doll”. This is the second time the artist presents her work in Drohobych.

Each doll in the collection is like a living image. The artist successfully selects poetic lines for each of them, because she is not only a doll maker, but also a poet and a famous Easter egg maker.

Oksana’s dolls differ from the usual folk dolls. After all, the dollmaker creates “frame motanka”, combining tradition and innovation. Actually, due to the frame, her dolls are very dynamic, as if they were moving and alive. It’s not even the costumes, but the poses themselves that convey character and type, create the feeling of a living picture.

Headdresses – hats, scarves, bangs, wreaths – also add colour. Each doll is wearing a necklace. The artist often exhibits her author’s corals alongside the dolls. The colours – from bright Hutsul motifs to beige in urban dolls to white and silver in princely outfits – seem to reflect Ukrainian society with its culture of dress.

The cycles of Oksana Smereka-Malyk’s author’s dolls can be divided into three main ones. The most vivid and colourful is “Carpathia: Maidens, Housewives, Young Women”. This is what connects Oksana Smereka-Malyk with her Hutsul love, where her sense of folk archetypes is essential.

“Lviv women: ladies and gentlewomen” are almost French, more urbanised, and require elegant pastel colours. By the way, the dresses of these citizens can serve as models for creating modern clothes.

The third cycle includes “Seasons”, “Poppy Blossom”, “August Field”, “Smerichky” – all these nymphs can be conditionally attributed to flower love, that is, the world of nature. Because according to Oksanyn’s style and spiritual component, the world is one and indivisible. Just like her art.

You can see the artist’s amazing dolls and get inspired by her work until 25 May.


Photos by Ihor Fetsiak.


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