I began this painting in February 2022 after Russian forces launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine. My work is very much a way of processing emotion and this was my immediate response.
As you make your way through the painting, you will notice a few key moments during the initial invasion: Snake Island, the famous soldier who refused to surrender, a pocket of sunflower seeds, and text from the infamous Ukrainian campaign of a photoshopped street sign urging its citizens to alter signs to delay Russian forces. This text (top left) can be translated to “fuck off, fuck off again, fuck off to Russia” A figure seen towards the right of the painting represents the historical displacement of humanity where within a few weeks, nearly 8 million people fled their homes and country. The text in the top right of the painting translates to “no war” and on the lower right, “peace for Ukraine”, both phrases written and posted on home-made signs seen throughout the country, even internationally.
- Original work by Ashten Mckinney (2022)
- acrylic, ink on canvas
- microfiber pocket stitched to canvas, housing sunflower seeds
- 30x48x1.75 inches