Sonia Atlantova | Icon of Virgin Seven-Shooter
Icon of Virgin Seven-Shooter, 2022
Tempera on wood from AKM cartridge box | 40 x 35cm | 16 x 14 in
In Byzantine art, built on very subtle, not always obvious and more speculative rather than associative connections, Icon of Virgin Seven-Shooter is a symbol of maternal suffering, female grief at the sight of the torment and death of her son. Arrows pierce the mother's chest, visualizing her mental anguish. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian mothers and wives are also pierced with arrows of spiritual sorrow, just like Mary on this icon. Every day, dozens of Ukrainian women experience this incomparable grief.
The folk legend of the Icon of Virgin Seven-Shooter speaks of Tatar invaders who decided to practice archery at the icon, which was in one of the churches in the city they captured. Unexpectedly, parallels arise with the well-known fact about the wild entertainments of Russian tankers near the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, enthusiastically practicing shooting at the houses of civilians in one of the villages.
© Sonia Atlantova
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.