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Friday, 21st June 2024

Olga’s Newgrange exhibition reflects similarities in Ukrainian and Irish traditions

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Drogheda based artist Olga Duka pictured at the opening of her exhibition in Newgrange yesterday evening.

We Drogheda people are so lucky to have Newgrange and the other monuments in the Brú na Bóinne complex literally on our doorstep. Now, for the next three months, there is another reason to visit, a wonderful art exhibition by the talented local artist Olga Duka.

Olga, a Ukrainian artist living and working in Drogheda, has been fascinated by the rich and diverse traditions of Irish folklore and seasonal festivals since she moved to this country twelve years ago.

Not long ago she discovered that there are similarities in certain Ukrainian and Irish unusual traditions such as Irish Straw Boys and Ukrainian Malanka, Wren Boys and Schedryk and an ancient reverence for trees.

“Both cultures share a deep connection with nature, a vibrant imagination, and a resilient spirit” Olga said.    

Olga’s artworks are inspired by the myths, legends, and stories of both cultures, as well as the seasonal celebrations and rituals that mark the cycle of life and death.

She explores the similarities and differences between Irish and Ukrainian folklore and festivals, and reveal the common themes and motifs that link them, such as the role of nature, the influence of Paganism and Christianity, the presence of magic and mythical beings, and the expression of joy and sorrow.

The Winter Solstice.

Olga uses mixed media, such as acrylic, ink, water colours, gouache, pencils and lace, to create expressive and colourful paintings that reflect her personal interpretation and experience of these folkloric themes. She incorporates elements of symbolism, humour, and spirituality into her artworks, to convey the messages and meanings behind the folklore and traditional festivals.

“Through my artworks, I aim to celebrate the cultural diversity and richness of Ireland and Ukraine, and to honour the ancestral wisdom and legacy of both nations.

The Autumn Equinox.

“I hope to inspire the viewers to discover their own roots and connections, and to appreciate the beauty and diversity of folklore and festivals around the world.”

The exhibition, it’s called “Common Roots” is on display at  Bru Na Boinne Visitor Centre, Donore, Co. Meath A92EH5C, opened yesterday, 20th June and will remain in situ until 22nd September 2024. Monday to Sunday 9am – 5.15pm.

This exhibition was funded by Create Louth, Louth County Council and kindly hosted by the Office of Public Works.


The Spring Equinox.


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