I create large-scale oil paintings central to my Russian / Ukrainian heritage and my experience of immigrating from Ukraine to the United States via Vienna. These memories along with cultural references have informed my own symbolic language which are both personal and universal. Memories include the golden domes of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, the metallic foliage of the Secession Building in Vienna, and the placid calm of Monet’s lily garden in Giverny. I weave these symbols together to create dreamlike and spiritual compositions. In my paintings I create a dialogue between past and present across imaginary landscapes. The ghostlike images appear and disappear as though in a liminal space.
I mix my own pigments and apply them in thin layers to emulate the appearance of the frescoes which I vividly remember seeing in my childhood. I like to experiment with viscosity and texture of the paint. My process involves creating linocuts which I then print onto linen. I vary the texture and thickness of the paint which adds an element of chance during the printing process.
The repetition in my work is inspired by chanting, an ancient practice which crosses cultures, both Eastern and Western. In the context of visual culture, the repetition acts as a reflection upon the aspects of visual memory that make up my narrative. The multi-paneled works emulate the repetition of panels in Eastern Orthodox altarpieces.
My current body of work uses a more limited palette of blues, greys and blacks. The iridescent pigments refract light based on the viewer’s position in relation to the light source. This draw attention to the physical phenomena associated with perception.
As George Herbet wrote in The Elixir, “A man that looks on glass, On it may stay his eye; Or if he pleaseth, through it pass, And then the heaven espy”.
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in painting at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture (Class of 2017).
Alla was awarded the Heatherley’s Diploma and Post Diploma in Portraiture (2012 and 2013 respectively).
A. Broeksmit is one of the founding members of The Lots Road Group, an association of portrait painters which curate exhibitions.
Her background in interior design, coupled with her association with art institutions, have allowed her to develop her artistic eye.