In my work I explore the spiritual relation between humans and animals. By creating highly stylized oil paintings with the moving wave like sections of colors, I am able to represent the divine connection between everything on this planet and the universe. The starting points for my research are myths, legends, and belief systems of indigenous people from all corners of our planet, that are often ignored, banished or misrepresented by a Western education. Over time, my research is leading me to question the origins of humanity, which makes finding the answer as to why humans perceive and treat animals the way they do more perplexing and intriguing.
My current body of work centers around animal symbolism in Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Ute, and Anasazi. I strive to understand the creation myths of these great nations, their belief systems, ways of life, their history, and how they understand the world we all live in. The main question keeps coming up from my research: How do Good and Evil coexist in harmony and what role animals play in it? My research guides me in the space where legends and myths are seen as integral parts of the history while always surrounded by the stigma of ignorance and disbelief.
- Irina Pushkareva, 2020