Ukrainian artist takes folk tradition of paper-cutting to monumental levels

Dariya Alyoshkina stands next to her monumental vytynankas demonstrated at the Lviv Art Palace. Photo: 


Lviv-based artist Dariya Alyoshkina is taking the traditional Slavic art of vytynanka to a new level.

Her latest creations – two 2×4 meter paper-cut decorations for the stage of the Lviv Opera – are the largest she created.

These vytynankas are currently shown at the exhibition at Lviv Art Palace.


And these vytynankas by Dariya Alyoshkina were on display in Paris on  January 2017.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Draped over windows, the vytynankas create an atmosphere of intricacy and delicateness. Making one takes in between 2 and 5 days.


Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina’s fb page

The art of cutting out intricate designs out of paper is practiced in Belarus (called “vyrazanka”), Poland (“wycinanki”), and Ukraine, but became especially widespread in the region of Vynnytsia Oblast, where Dariya was raised by artist parents. There, symposiums dedicated to the technique with which local villagers decorate their homes and windows are held, and several vytynanka museums gather the best traditional examples.

A traditional vytynanka by Dariya

A traditional vytynanka by Dariya Alyoshkina

Dariya is continuing the folk tradition – she learned the art from her parents who, in their turn, learned it from the older generations. Having studied sculpture in the Lviv Art Academy, Dariya started paying serious attention to vytynankas after becoming a mother to three children and has participated in plenty of expositions.

Mostly, Dariya creates window curtains, as she wants to resurrect the folk tradition of decorating homes with ornamental paperwork.

Some of them are made from waterproof material. 

"Something interesting" exhibition in Lviv. Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina's fb page

“Something interesting” exhibition in Lviv. Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina’s fb page

But she creates smaller pieces, too.

#art #paper Table papercut

A post shared by Daria Alyoshkina (@dariaalyoshkina) on

This is how a vytynanka is made:

Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina's fb page

Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina’s fb page

Dariya’s husband is also a sculptor and makes hand-made wooden hurdy-gurdies. So Dariya created some vytynanakas with hurdy-gurdies for their home. Here is a family picture for Easter, featuring giant Easter egg vytynankas.

Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina's fb page

Photo: Dariya Alyoshkina’s fb page

You can contact Dariya at d.alyoshkina (a)

Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , , ,