Helgana Shyshkina-Rybalskaya “The woman who rising at the Sacred Hill”

2009-2015; acrylic; canvas on a stretcher; 50 x 60 cm; UkraineThe painting has nails for vertical placement. 



The painting depicts a fat woman of African descent in a bright dress of red and yellow against the nature of the Northern Hemisphere: in the foreground you can see green grass and golden spikelets growing on the hill, then – bushes and treetops growing on the other side of the hill, then – bright blue sky with almost white clouds. The woman is holding a yellow wicker basket with a black rooster to be sacrificed. At first glance, nature contrasts with a woman’s African descent and is not authentic, but in fact I was inspired by a BBC documentary about the lives of people of African descent in various parts of the Northern Hemisphere (such as Cape Verde). 

In the lower right corner, the Cyrillic initials of the author “Х.Ш.Р.” are displayed in black and green in the typical for the author vertical version, with the image of a cone on the letter “Ш” and a fish on the letter “P”. 

The picture is a symbol of the fact that at a certain stage of human development, magic and sacrifice have become the only opportunity for women to defend their rights and freedoms.


About artist: 

Helgána Shyshkina-Rybalskaya was born in 1974 in Kyiv, in the family of an engineer-inventor, a direct descendant of the outstanding Russian artist Ivan Shishkin. At an early age she became interested in painting. From the age of 4 she studied drawing with a private teacher, and also had the status of a prodigy from Kyiv. From the age of 8 she studied in the studio of the Honored Artist of Ukraine NP Semenyuk. At the age of 10, she first took part in an art exhibition. 15 of her paintings of children and youth were selected by a special commission for the Children’s Art Gallery of Kyiv, in the funds of which they are kept to this day. Also during this period she was engaged in swimming, studied at a music school and attended a theater group. At the age of 15, she formed the rock band “Shadows of Mirkwood”, where she was an author and front-girl and performed under the pseudonym “Elven Queen Genelos”. But painting was still a priority for her. 

Her health has deteriorated since the Chernobyl tragedy. In particular, an allergy to the components of oil painting was detected. After that, it became clear that the girl would not be able to take a standard course at the Academy of Arts. Therefore, she entered the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv as a philologist and successfully graduated in 1997, after which she worked in television, became a cult culturologist and even served in the police. But in parallel with this activity she tried her hand at graphics, and also collaborated as a designer with tile manufacturers and jewelers. 

Only in 2007 did she learn about the existence of acrylic paints. This knowledge completely changed her life, because the color – southern and juicy – returned to her life. Then she left her job in the office and devoted herself entirely to creativity. As an artist, she participated in many international exhibitions and prestigious competitions, won international competitions. Some of her paintings have been purchased in collections around the world. Also, some of her works are recorded in catalogs. There are also positive reviews from critics about her painting.

As an artist, she works exclusively with artistic (not construction!) paints of the elite segment. In her work, she combines advanced acrylic technology with the techniques of old masters of painting of the academic era. Her average working time on the painting is 9 months. Helgána believes that being an artist is the best work on Earth: “As an artist, I can recreate the vanishing beauty of our nature or create New Worlds.”

The list of exhibitions, competitions, victories and the press can be found here: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/helgana-shyshkina-rybalskaya-9439

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