An exhibition of ornately decorated eggs that are rich in history and symbolism – Pysanky. In the Window Gallery at City Arts.
The Pysanky custom is ancient. One legend from the Carpathian Mountains tells that the concept of evil is personified as a dreadful cave-dwelling serpent. For every Pysanky written, the serpent’s chains tighten. Good will triumph for another year and evil cannot roam free in the world.
The very act of ‘writing’ each pysanka egg is therefore profound and hopeful. Each egg decorated represents a physical act of creative solidarity in the struggle against evil. The artist also wants to help raise awareness of the traditional Ukrainian art form. The tradition was banned under the Soviet Union.
Artist Tory Hayward has decorated, or ‘written’, one hundred eggs for this exhibition. They are a mixture of hen, goose and rhea eggs. Also on display are pysanky decorated by members of the Nottingham Ukrainian community, alongside their perspectives on the tradition. The exhibition is further decorated with crowdsourced Pysanky designs submitted by the members of the local community.
‘100 Eggs for Ukraine’ is an outcome of our RESIDENCE project.
About the Artist
Tory Hayward is self-taught printmaker. She has developed a unique style of linocut relief prints, using traditional materials and tools. Tory’s influences included the natural world, Japanese printmaking and the occult. In 2020, her printmaking work was awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Project (DYCP) award. For this exhibition, she is applying her printmaking skills to Ukrainian folk art.