In landscapes I have always been fascinated by a theme of fields. When I was a child we lived in the outskirts of the city of Odesa. From the windows of our home I enjoyed watching the steppe extended below. While studying at the Institute of Fine Arts in Odessa, in the evening after classes I often went to paint fields. I guess many people get bored of fields - they all look the same to them, but for me fields are like the sea - always the same and different every time you look at them.
During my first international flight while crossing different countries I saw that there is something that unites them all - cultivated fields. A striped surface of the earth seems to me an international symbol, a trace of a man on the face of our planet.
The distribution varies from country to country. Living in the Soviet Union I remember that the fields were huge in size, enormous - the fields of collective farms as private property almost did not exist in those times. Everything in the Soviet Union had to be GREAT. I did not know that the union of the republics was forced, and of course it could not fail to impress: imagine a huge wheat field, you stand at the beginning and the end of it is not to be seen, a golden sea of wheat. It was beautiful and majestic. Obviously not all fields were large, there were many smaller croplands that created this game of abstract squares. Then I saw the fields of central Ukraine- they were different, often on the hills they were divided by land relief and by rivers. The first “striped” fields I saw in the Carpathian mountains – it was not so easy to grow wheat in large quantities there and the Soviet Union left these spaces to individuals.
An interesting fact is that even though as a child I grew up close to those huge fields, I quickly realized that the division into stripes is much more natural, although I did not know why. One day a friend of my father an artist Andriy Mentuch who lives in Poland had explained to me that the division into stripes has its practical explanation - it is easier to plow a piece of land along without changing frequently direction.
The times changed, Ukraine had acquired its independence and the face of our land is changing. The surface of the earth reflects the political and economic situation in the country - it is a long, painful process. For several years the land was partially abandoned, then very slowly the landscapes began to change, and instead of enormous Kolkhos fields it acquired this funny striped European structure. Though not all fields have changed their faces, now in many places instead of Kolkhos there are Oligarchs who possess the land. The land always reflects the situation in the country. That western part of Ukraine (the Carpathians) was always more European and now you will find more “democratic” fields there, the eastern part of Ukraine has always been more Soviet and the fields have mostly preserved their structure. The times are changing slowly. But they are changing. More people now understand what does it mean to live in a democratic country. The Maydan that united millions of people showed to the entire world that Ukraine is not only a European country but also that Ukrainians are European people.
So these landscapes show the way: many small different fields which are comfortably covering the surface of our planet are a symbol of democratic society, on the contrary to enormous soviet/oligarchy fields which are a symbol of corruption and autocracy.