All eight Humeniuk pictures displayed internally in the University Library (and therefore accessible in person only to readers) are also exhibited online below. Each picture was executed in coloured pencils on coloured paper. To open a larger-scale image of any picture in a separate window, please click directly on the picture.
All images, reproduced by kind permission of the copyright-holder, are copyright Feodosiy Humeniuk.
1. Ivan Kupala. The feast of Ivan Kupala is a traditional Slavonic folk celebration held after the summer solstice and tied to the feast day of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. In Ukraine, the festivities abound in the mystical and include the symbolic drowning of the sun (centre, in descent) in the form of a burning wheel rolled into water (at left). (2007. 52 x 46 cm)
2. Koliada. Koliada is the name of a cycle of pagan winter rituals that have been incorporated in the celebration of Christmas in Ukraine. The festivities include joyous carols (called koliadky), abundant feasts, and boisterous play-acting by young men in set characters, including the goat (koza), which is featured at centre-right and foregrounded in the next work. (2010 46 x 60 cm)
3. The Goat (Koza). The goat (koza) is at the centre of a traditional koliada folk play, which involves a performer in a goat mask who dances in village households to invoke a bountiful harvest in the spring. Accompanying performers sing, De Koza khodyt', tam zhyto rodyt' ('Where the goat goes, there rye grows'). (2011 61 x 45 cm)
4. The Girls Tell Their Fortunes (Divchata vorozhat'). In traditional Ukrainian folk culture, fortune-telling is more often than not related to matters of the heart. Girls divine their future and the identity of their beloved by reading buttons, coins, varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings), and the play of water (bottom right). Bells (centre-right) can augur death, while the cockerel (centre) signals health and prosperity. (2008 58 x 43 cm)
5. The Wells of Poltava (Poltavs'ki krynytsi). The Poltava region in central Ukraine has an eye-catching custom of painting the lever arms above wells to exaggerate their natural resemblance to bowing storks. As shown in this work, ribbons are often attached to their 'necks' to decorate them further. (2003 65 x 46 cm)
6. Obzhynky. The traditional festival of Obzhynky marks the end of the harvest and celebrates the last sheaf of grain. The spasova boroda, a customary braid of unmowed grain stalk, is shown in the centre. Intertwined in the braid are two powerful symbols: the sunflower, which is Ukraine's national flower, and the poppy head, which evokes the shape of a church dome and symbolises in its inclusion the unity of the Ukrainian land and Orthodoxy. (2004 57 x 45 cm)
7. Chumak Icon (Chumats'ka ikona). The Chumaks, salt traders whose commerce took them between the Black Sea and central Ukraine, travelled light. Even their icons were easily portable, painted not on wood but on salt-dried fish. Only a few rare examples of these incredible works of devotional art survive today. (2006 46 x 57 cm)
8. Easter Bells (Velykodni dzvony). The celebration of Christ's resurrection begins on Easter Saturday with what is often an all-night service punctuated by the triumphant ringing of bells at midnight. The bells in this work are accompanied by cockerels. Birds symbolise new life in many cultures, but the cockerel is a particularly potent symbol in Ukraine, representing the cultural and spiritual awakening of the country and its people. (2005 55 x 47 cm)