They are schematic, brittle ciphers. Each of them is adorned with an X, the meaning of which remains open, multivalent. Even though the most direct reading as motif places it as the cat’s snout, I cannot shake the impression that I am looking at the back of the animal shape, that the cat has turned away. On a conceptual level, the X contains the cross stitch of Ukrainian folk embroidery, a marking as well as a crossing out of what was – the loss of the privilege to understand the world and access it in a direct way.
The anti-war message of Shtykalo’s window installation is clearly spelled out, with the date of the Russian invasion marking the violent end of ordered, peaceful life. Within this historical tragedy, the cats‘ abstraction and the X that marks each of them hold space for individual experiences and things unspeakable. Tanya Shtykalo is an artist and sculptor from Ukraine. She was an senior lecturer at the Department of Theory and Methods of Decorative Arts and Graphics of the South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University named after KD Ushinsky in Odessa. When the war broke out she was forced to leave her country and seek refuge in Europe. On the website listed below you will find a link where you can actively support Ukraine.