Katie Timoshenko is the local artist who has had the most impact on me to date. You know when you come across something special. You stop, look and then just stop, intrigued, bewildered and inspired. Dawn Birch-James investigates…
Such was my experience in 2011 during my usual ramblings around the Peterborough Artists’ Open Studios. With brochure already marked, I headed off to the Embe restaurant (great little place on Burghley Road) to its special art gallery space upstairs. No-one around but a plentiful collection of the most singular yet compelling images of doleful, white faced figures relating sweet, sometimes painful stories of our own frail human condition. And yet despite their seemingly melancholic energy, they exuded a simple magic through their distinct hues and symbolic beauty.
‘Teachers just couldn’t understand my writing. I couldn’t seem to control the pen but when I drew, they were amazed’
Assembling the best artists I could find in the locality for my gallery Art in the Heart, Miss Timoshenko was at the top of my list. She agreed to meet me. Truth be told, I was expecting to encounter a rather intense and troubled individual with more than her fair share of angst. Instead I spent a good hour enjoying the work of a good-humoured, communicative happy young woman who was passionate about her work and serious about its meaning. The rest is history. Now nearly two years on, over 20 of her original pieces and a good quantity of subsequent limited edition prints have gone to good homes around the UK.
Art provided Katie with the ability to communicate when words seemed to fail. ‘Teachers just couldn’t understand my writing. I couldn’t seem to control the pen but when I drew, they were amazed so I took myself to art classes after school from the age of 11. I went to the Ukrainian Academy of Design and started to develop my own style. My first serious project was a series of etched astrological signs. After that I went to the Ukrainian Academy of Printing while working as a Graphic Designer Here I did the series of 12 animal gouache paintings which all sold really quickly here at the gallery. My professor there was really good and he told me that if I kept developing my style I had a future as an artist. My work was presented in a solo exhibition at the Ukrainian Museum of Ideas.’
Katie eventually moved to the UK to be with her father. It was here that she started to paint with oils onto glass, which has since become her trade mark. ‘In the summer of 2009 I went to a car boot sale and bought an old frame with glass and for the next two years I created a… [cont]
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