Ukrainian artist Kateryna Plyva tells us how life has moulded her canvas - GulfToday

Ukrainian artist Kateryna Plyva tells us how life has moulded her canvas

Kateryna Plyva 1

Parrots are the subject of this composition.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Kateryna Plyva is a Ukraine born artist, now living and working in Dubai. She is currently showing her works at Bedia Gallery, Dubai (April 26 – 30) in a group exhibition titled Spring Life.

Her life has been a roller coaster of events – the Maidan Revolution in her country being only one of them – and to avoid the growing tensions in Ukraine, she pursued a career in modelling, living between Milan and Kiev, where she continued to create and exhibit her artwork.

“During the pandemic crisis in 2020, I moved to the UAE, attracted by the country’s spirit of freedom, which was grandly revealed during those troubled times,” she says.

“Infused with respect for the majestic and wild animals that have become symbols of grace, power and determination in the UAE, I created a series of paintings that radiate feelings of fraternity and strength and the necessity of movement, required to survive and thrive on earth.” She seized the opportunity to take part in the exhibition hosted by Bedia Gallery, where she is showcasing her latest collection of artworks titled Elemental. “It is truly gratifying to present a selection of my new pieces to a diverse audience, including art enthusiasts, collectors, fellow artists, and notably, the presence of key government representatives from Dubai Culture like Khalil Abdulwahid,” she adds.


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Kateryna Plyva takes the floor

Why are you so interested in art that you spent five years formally studying it?

Art has always captivated me as a powerful means of expressing beauty and harmony in the world. It serves as a medium through which I can convey profound emotions and ideas. From an early age, I was drawn to the enchanting allure of artistic expression, and it became a driving force in my life.

How has travel influenced you as an artist?

My passion for art has been nourished by extensive travels; I have been fortunate to witness the diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes that this world has to offer. These experiences have broadened my horizons and inspired me to create artworks that reflect the harmonious blend of different influences. Moreover, my recent encounters with wildlife have awakened a new source of inspiration within me. The majestic creatures I have encountered symbolise resilience, adaptability, and the inherent beauty of the natural world.  These encounters have influenced my artistic vision and sparked a desire to portray the magnificence of these animals in my artwork.

You use colour lavishly in your works. Why?

In my creative process, I employ lavish colours to evoke emotions and convey the vitality and harmony present in my artworks. Each stroke of the brush is carefully executed to capture the energy of compassion, movement, and strength. It is through this interplay of colours and forms that I strive to create a visual symphony that resonates with the viewer’s emotions.

Kateryna Plyva 2  Kateryna Plyva is a Ukrainian artist.

Can you say the three things that differentiate European art and Middle Eastern art? Also, three similarities?

The world of art is rich and diverse, with each region offering its own unique artistic traditions. European art reflects a copious history of artistic movements, while Middle Eastern art often draws inspiration from Islamic traditions.

Both traditions celebrate symbolism, craftsmanship and cultural expression, albeit in distinct ways. Middle Eastern art, in particular, embraces spirituality as an integral part of its artistic language. It weaves together elements of faith, storytelling and intricate geometric designs, to create visually captivating artworks.

How does the Emirates strike you as a subject for art? What will be the scenes from the UAE that you will draw?

The UAE’s vibrant art scene, with its fusion of traditional and contemporary influences, provides a fertile ground for my artistic growth. The country’s rich cultural heritage, coupled with its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, has become a wellspring of inspiration for my artwork.

How do you find wildlife in the Emirates?

The wildlife of the UAE, in particular, symbolises grace and adaptation; it captivates me with its unique characteristics. From the regal Arabian stallions to the graceful desert gazelles, each animal embodies resilience and beauty. These majestic creatures have become symbolic representations of the UAE’s natural heritage, and I seek to capture their essence in my artwork, paying homage to their strength and elegance.

Do you think your art is closely related to fashion?

Through my art, I strive to offer a beautiful and noble representation of some of the Almighty’s creations on earth. By highlighting the exquisite details and inherent harmony found in Nature, I hope to awaken a sense of reverence and appreciation in the hearts of viewers. My intention is to create a visual language that speaks to the soul and reminds us of the profound interconnectedness of all living beings.

What is your assessment of the art scene of the UAE?

The UAE’s thriving art scene serves as a vibrant platform for artists from around the world. It embraces diverse styles, cultural influences and innovative approaches, providing a dynamic space for artists to express themselves and engage with a global audience.  The country’s commitment to fostering creativity and supporting artistic endeavours has created an environment that encourages artistic growth and collaboration.

How do you see yourself as an artist in 2025?

I would like to continue to see my artworks showcased in the UAE, serving as powerful representations and embodying some of the core values found in this remarkable country.




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