Olexander Klimenko | Mother of God With Child - SOLD
Mother of God With Child, 2022
Tempera on wood from Russian ammunition boxes rescued by Ukrainian soldiers from battlefields near Kyiv.
40x35cm |15.7x13.8 inches
In this icon, the viewer's attention is focused on the faces of the Mother and the Child. Their apparent well-being is compromised by a crack in the board the icon is painted on, exposing a transverse block of wood that gives the board stability and protects it from deformation. These transverse blocks usually sit on the reverse side of the block the image is painted on and do not have any pictorial function. While the war is going on, what is hidden from view under normal circumstances is often exposed. Sometimes these are unthinkable tragedies, and sometimes they are very supportive hidden structures that keep everything together. In this image, the faces of the Virgin Mary and her Son as well as the puritan design of the board are important. Everything else seems to be washed away, destroyed, unimportant. It's like one of the most important discoveries of the war - it's scary when so many things disappear forever, but it's reverently breathtaking when you see how the most important thing stands inviolably.
© Olexander Klimenko
Icons on Ammunition Boxes
From 2015, Ukrainian artists Sonia Atlantova and Olexander Klimenko have been using wooden fragments from ammunition boxes abandoned by Russian soldiers on the battle fields in Ukraine to paint icons and donating all sale proceeds to mobile hospitals that provide urgent medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, 2022, their work remains more relevant than ever.