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24/02/22 by Ruby Sterzl


Ruby Sterzl

About the work

On 24/02/22, the first attacks were launched on Ukraine, marking the start of the war. The title of the work serves as a reminder that now, over a year later, the situation of the young girl clutching her pillow for comfort, distressed from the explosions on TV, remains relevant to all Ukrainian citizens and their families. This pillow was hand-stitched by my late great-grandmother, who was a Ukrainian refugee from the Second World War. She, along with her husband and their daughter, my grandmother, found sanctuary in Brisbane. Seventy-four years later, her extended family, including myself, call Brisbane home. While the work is a self-portrait, it represents my great-grandmother’s story, and I continue to honour our Ukrainian heritage subtly through my choice of clothing and hairstyle. I painted it as I sat near the TV news, with the Ukrainian flag casting blue and yellow lighting across my figure, clothing, and my great-grandmother’s pillow.