Nina Keri explores the emotional world of her grandmothers life in the Ukraine during the Second World War.
“When people experience trauma, in my family’s case the trauma of war, there is not always a space to heal or even think upon the experiences. Efforts go into surviving.
Years pass and the experiences are covered by layers of living. But sometimes stories are told, remembered, passed on.
My paintings feature two of my grandmothers pets, Svyinka the pig and Bobik the dog. I have listened to stories about them since I was a child. In my work they take on human qualities, which enables them to enter the human world of that time. And some humans I paint take on the visage of animals. Some paintings are like snapshots, others are created with many layers of generational emotion.
My grandmothers stories are like a frayed rope linking my grandmother, my mother and me. When I paint I go to the place of the stories, they allow me access to a fairytale-like world full of extremes of good and evil. I use the stories and characters to tell of deeper emotions and experiences that have laid dormant in my maternal line. In doing so hope to bring honour and an acknowledgment to the lives that came before mine”.
- Nina Keri