A drawing… a line! Meeting with Viktoriia Sviatiuk


Women and war are Viktoriia Sviatiuk’s two favourite subjects. This 29-year-old artist, born in Kiev, Ukraine, studied visual arts in his native country before entering the TALM School of Fine Arts in Angers. The stories of this daily war in her country and the life of her grandmother are at the heart of the series of drawings “Even war is daily”, made with black stone, which earned her the First Prize of Pierre David-Weill Drawing from the Paris Academy of Fine Arts on March 27.

Marlène Pegliasco: What is your background?
Viktoriia Sviatiuk: I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. I graduated in 2008 from the Republican School of Fine Arts in Kiev. Then in 2010, after two years of studies at the Faculty of Graphic Art and Publishing of the National Polytechnic University of Kiev, I decided to come to France where I joined the TALM School of Fine Arts in Angers. In 2016, I obtained a DNSEP in Media Arts. Since then, I have participated in many exhibitions with various institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Château d’Angers. In 2015, my paintings were published as illustrations by Éditions “Hackoeurs”, in Paris Sorbonne. In 2018, my first solo exhibition “Les Nuances du Bleu” was held at the Espace Art Contemporain À Vous De Voir, in Saint Mathurin sur Loire. I also did a painting performance at the Biennale des Grands fleuves, Loire-Authion. Finally, from November 2017 to October 2018, I was in residence at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. Since then, I have been living and working there.

Marlène Pegliasco: Tell us about your series “Even war is a daily occurrence. »
Viktoriia Sviatiuk: It is a series of four drawings, made with black stone on paper. The title is based on a quote from the writer Marguerite Duras. Touched by the violence that has invaded eastern Ukraine since 2014, I started working on issues of representing death and war in art through a series of portraits of my grandmother in her daily life in her apartment in Stakhanov. Today, the city of Stakhanov is occupied by pro-Russian separatists. My grandmother was forced to leave her family apartment to seek refuge in Kiev. In addition, inspired by stories from the front, I tried to understand the “beauty of the explosion” by making hundreds of sketches. Numerous testimonies from eastern Ukraine prove that even civilians are often attracted by the hypnotic beauty of the explosions.

Marlène Pegliasco: What does the drawing mean to you?
Viktoriia Sviatiuk: Drawing is for me the easiest way to express myself at any time. It is at the origin of all types of art, a kind of indispensable root.
The drawing harmoniously combines the graphic tools, line, line, line and spot.
Drawing is like having a dialogue with yourself or the spectator or even with these roots. It’s as complex as thinking.

Marlène Pegliasco: What is the place of this medium in your creation?
Viktoriia Sviatiuk: Drawing is the basis of everything… Drawing is found in painting, engraving or sculpture. I always go through a stage of preparatory drawing, research, sketching and sketching. For example in painting, for me, colour is the most important but drawing is omnipresent. It allows you to define a place for each thing. In my work, drawing is like a spine that supports everything.

As we see in “Holiday Sketch”, a series on the war in eastern Ukraine, the shape of the “sketch” is very important and becomes an end in itself. It highlights the violence of the subject, in the spontaneous form of the artist’s notebook, a form to which we are accustomed. In more elaborate drawings like in the series “Oysters”, the objective is completely different. Going into more detail is a work process that interests me. I try to find the limit between realism and abstraction. When I draw, I feel like I am immersed in abstract and geometric forms, although the whole thing represents figurative forms. In drawing, what interests me are all possible approaches, whether they are drawings developed in search of a definitive form, or more spontaneous, like sketches.

Portrait of a draftswoman:

If you were a drawing: Impossible to choose one! Probably Francisco de Goya. Not a drawing, but rather a series of engravings:”Los caprichos”

Your favorite technique: It depends on the project or idea, recently I used black stone for drawing and oil painting, watercolor.

The most unusual medium to create: All supports.

“Drawing is like thinking.

Marlène Pegliasco

Graduate of a Master in Art History and living in Toulon, I created the blog Art In Var (www.artinvar.fr) to share with my readers, the rich artistic news of this beautiful department. This passion...

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