The Road to Freedom
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ABOUT THE WORK
"Sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom."
– Willa Cather, MY ÁNTONIA (1918)
"I always felt deeply connected to the truth of that unpretentious quote from the book about American West pioneers written over a century ago. But in February 2022, this idea got a new dimension: sunflowers became the national flower of Ukraine. It was when I made the initial sketch of the work THE ROAD TO FREEDOM, which took me more than a year to finish.
Working on this piece, I was reminiscing about the beautiful countryside of my childhood summers back in the Soviet 1980s: the colorful, abundant land, the friendly locals, and their language—though I struggled to understand it—had a musical charm that sparked my desire to learn it.
I intentionally turned the somewhat stark original work into an animated quilt of sorts. By choosing a folk style, I aimed to capture the idea of craft not as a decorative creative outlet but mostly as a way of preserving the national cultural identity—a phenomenon I witnessed in pretty much all the former Soviet republics: craft as an embodiment of the spirit of resistance—the road to freedom."
– Helena Sarin