Potters’ evocative designs inspired by Ancient civilizations

A fascination for ancient European civilizations and a love of diversity motivate visiting Ukrainian artists Mykhailo Horlovy and his daughter Lesia Horlovy.

Speaking through an interpreter, the 25-year-old Lesia says the whimsical, ancient abstract shapes and evocative geometric patterns she sees in the preChristian-era pottery work inspire her not only because of their enduring artistic adeptness, but also because of their personal historic resonance. Her frame of reference is the ancient Trypillian and Scythian civilizations that occupied what is now modern Ukraine.

“These are the cultures that were originally found in the area where my father was born and are an ingrained part of my identity,” she says.

Lesia adds her own contemporary touches to her pieces, which are based on those ancient sources. She’s quick to cite early 20th-century Ukrainian-American sculptor Alexander Archipenko and her father, Mykhailo, as her major inspirations.

An exhibit of the Horlovys’ work is on display at the downtown Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta (UCAMA).

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