Stories that you confided to us

1 2
Menu
{( row.text )}
{( row.tag )}
header-logo

Stories that you confided to us

1 2
Go to all stories
views: 219
Anna Briukhovetska
age: 43
photo0
photo1
photo2
photo3
photo4
photo5
photo6
"I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans"

Anna paints amazing portraits – beautiful women with expressive eyes, full of sadness. Anna's paintings have spread all over the world: to Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Italy, and even Liechtenstein. Just a few years ago, Anna and her family left home with one suitcase to wait out the summer. Never to return to the old world.

I believe that my passion saved me. I expressed my emotions on the canvas with paints and brush strokes. Now I can say with confidence that creativity can save anyone. Creativity of any kind.

My name is Anna Briukhovetska. I was born and lived in Donetsk until 2014. Now I live in Odessa. I moved here with my husband and daughter. My daughter is a junior of Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University. 

I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans

War is absolute nonsense.

Before the war, we lived good, well-adjusted lives. We had a lot of plans. My daughter went to school and played tennis. I did interior design. We travelled a lot.

War is total absurd. I don't understand why they are necessary. I'll never understand it. They bring pain, grief, death, fear, and tears. This is all the worst thing that can happen to anyone.

It all happened before our eyes. We lived in the center of Donetsk. So saw and witnessed everything. In early May, we went to the sea, to Bilosaraiska Kosa. We left with nothing, for the weekend. And when we realized that the situation was escalating, and the child had to go to school, we decided to move to Odessa. It happened in August 2014.

I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans

Moving to the city we loved since childhood with one suitcase for three people

I love Odessa very much. I've loved it since I was a child, when I came to visit.

My dad's brother's family used to live here. I had a sister here, in Odessa. Why had? Because they left for America a year after we arrived.

They invited us to see them, too. They saw the situation we were in and called us almost every day. At first, we were very worried about what was happening here in Odessa. Then we were absorbed by fear. We felt sorry for each other. She called us and asked us to come to her. We didn't have any other options.

We arrived in Odessa with one suitcase for three people. We had shorts and sneakers with us. When we came to the sea, we did not think that we would stay for a long time. We planned to return home. We wanted to go back.

When we realized that we were going to be late, we left our daughter in Odessa and returned. We took what we could. So we decided to rent an apartment in Odessa.

A life-changing gift for birthday

I was already interested in painting, but I didn't allow myself to dream for some reason. In 2015, my husband gave me an easel, canvases, brushes, and paints for my birthday.  I started painting.

I only paint in oil. I really like it. The oil is textured, I like how it fits, how it smells.

I realized that I can't put off my dreams. I knew the world is fragile, and everything can change in a minute. We never know what might happen next. Painting for me has become more of a medicine, an outlet for emotions.

My values have completely changed during this time. I realized that a person can be happy just when he/she can walk, see, hug those he/she loves, and hears birds singing. This is happiness, I guess.

It's not that I didn't enjoy life, and I didn't love it before. That was enough for me. Surely, material values in our material world are very important, but... I am not talking about comfort or prosperity, I am talking about happiness.

"Apocalypse"

The first thing I painted was a portrait. I always wanted to paint portraits. It was an Indian woman from a Maya tribe. I named it "Apocalypse". I didn't study anywhere, it was instinctive. Then I was told "Why don't you go to school?"

I attended painting courses, academic drawing courses, and took private lessons. In 2016, I started studying, and in 2017 I participated in exhibition held by the school.

Then I started writing on my own and created my own website. I released a catalogue and began to receive invitations to exhibitions. In 2019, we had an exhibition  called Modern View of the Portrait, which took place in Zavod Art Space. I had other works: "Africans", "The Golden Age of Hollywood", a series of nude paintings.

I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans

In April, I was supposed to participate in a group exhibition in Madrid. Now two of my works are in Madrid, waiting their time.  We are waiting for the salon to open. COVID greatly interfered with my plans.

Geographical spread: Germany, Switzerland, USA and even Liechtenstein

Now my paintings are located in different parts of the world: two of my paintings are displayed in Switzerland, in Zurich. You can find them in Norway, California, New York, Italy, Germany, Spain, Serbia and Liechtenstein.

I think it's very convenient to show yourself to the world thanks to social networks. Actually, that's how people found out about me. At first I felt shy to show my work. Then I got bolder. So I started posting them on Instagram and Facebook.

They saw the works on Instagram – and Zavod Art Space invited them to the exhibition. Then we saw it in an online gallery, and the gallery sent my first paintings to Germany. You can find most of my paintings are in Germany for some reason... 

And customers contact me directly and find me the same way.  I don't make any special effort. I just show my works on social networks. People see them and buy them.

I met a Ukrainian artist online. She lives in Spain and organizes exhibitions there. She decided to arrange the exhibition "Ukrainians in Spain" for 20 artists who would represent two of their works.

I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans

It was supposed to be very beautiful. The catalogues were being drafted. The opening was scheduled for 1 April. However, it had to be postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus situation.

Depicting the beauty of the world

I'm often asked: why don't you paint harsh realities about the war? I just  want to portray the beauty of the world. I see the beauty of the world in women's faces. I display my emotions and experiences not in stories, but with the help of colour and contrasts.

I have a lot of ideas. I only want to paint what I want. I like to observe. For me, people are probably the biggest inspiration. That's why, I mostly paint portraits. I try to catch different emotions, characters, feelings.

I paint in series. I started the series "Faces" started a year ago. Now it is a collection of 20 paintings. When I started painting the series, I wanted to do a solo exhibition, but the pandemic disrupted these plans.

I was spared by my creativity, but the pandemic destroyed my plans

It's hard when you know you're not coming back

It's difficult to realize that you can't go back. At first, we felt confused. The situation was quite difficult. We felt mixed feelings. I still can't say that this situation has let me go. And the experience we had in 2014 was hard and gruesome. All this reflected in our health and well-being.

I believe that my passion saved me. I expressed my emotions on the canvas with paints and brush strokes. Now I can say with confidence that creativity can save anyone. Creativity of any kind.

Interviewer Oksana Maslova

slide1
slide2
slide3
slide4
slide5
Help us out. Share this story
img
Join the Project
Every story is unique. Share your story
Tell a story
Go to all stories