Tradition of Floral Ornamental Carpet Weaving from the Reshetylivka Village in Poltava Oblast

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Tradition of Floral Ornamental Carpet Weaving from the Reshetylivka Village in Poltava Oblast

A characteristic feature of Reshetylivka floral carpet weaving is the principle of constructing an ornament with a picturesque idea for the background. Compositional motifs overlap with archaic ancient rural carpets. Ornamentation is distinct, with smoothed, rounded edges of shapes. Silhouettes of stylized plants are characterized by a large number of light and dark contours of different configuration and thickness. Colour scheme is, mostly, in warm, earthy tones.

In the so-called "pansky" carpets, the lush ornamentation of plant and animalistic shapes prevails. The most common compositional plot of such carpets is the tree of life motive in the frame of continuous curly garland with symmetrical flower inclusions.

There are a small number of techniques for the implementation of floral carpets: "kruhliannia", "zachipkamy", "na mezhovu nytku", "zirchasta", and "na kosu nytku". Picturesque idea for the background manifests itself in the specific technique of weaving "derkanni", which was widely used before the occurrence of chemical dyes. Woollen threads of similar colours are placed evenly by horizontal lines on weft, and all the floral shapes smoothly flow into each other, organically interwoven with the texture of the item. A large number of colour shades can only be seen in close proximity, and from a distance they are perceived as laconic solid spots and create the impression of rich harmony of shapes, lines, silhouettes. 

Floral carpet weaving in Reshetylivka developed under the influence of traditional art. The Soviet era had an impact on the development of this craft. Handicrafts gradually transformed into factory manufacturing, mass carpets production began. In the 1950s, the so-called "scholars" - professional artists occurred at the Reshetylivka factory. They tried to develop and improve the local tradition of floral carpet to the extent of their own creative abilities. Especially famous was the artist Nadiia Babenko. Her floral carpet "The Tree of Life" was donated to the United Nations in New York in 1969. Leonid Tovstukhy’s masterpiece "Rose Land" adorns the Council of Europe Hall in Strasbourg from 2005.

Today in the village of Reshetylivka, 38 masters born in 1940-1990 know the technique of floral carpet weaving. The bearers of the element are members of the Reshetylivka community, namely, the artistic families of Babenko, Vakulenko, Derkach, Piliugin, Shevchuk and individual masters: Bebko AD, Bilousko A.P, Honchar G.O., Horbenko V.M, Hrebinchenko K.V., Dovzhenko M.V., Yefremova D.F., Kasian G.M., Kyrpotina T.I., Kovalenko S.M, Kovalenko T.L., Kolinchenko S.O., Kolinko V.Ya., Kolisnyk N.N., Koliaka V.V., Kosolap T.I., Kril V.I., Mykolaienko O.M., Mordyk V.I., Pelypenko V.A., Pyrog G.O., Pliuta A.I., Romanchuk G.M., Tokova N.I., Tushko Yu.R., Shyposha G.I., Cherevychna V.I., Cherevychna G.I.

In addition, the carriers are also craftsmen - teachers of Reshetylivka Art Trade School, carpet-weavers of a private art workshop "Solomiya", teachers of Reshetylivka children's art school and Reshetylivka gymnasium named after I.L. Oliinyk.

During the second half of the XXth century Reshetylivka floral carpet weaving evolved with state support. The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine managed planned acquisition of the best carpet products for stock collections of museums of Ukraine annually. In 1996, Soros Foundation "Renaissance" was received to publish a catalogue of Nadiia Babenko carpets.

Since 1992, the regional festival "Reshetylivka spring" is held, where the bearers of the element transfer practical skills and knowledge to everyone who wishes. The craftsmen are regular participants in the artistic events: "EXPO", Rennes, France; “International Triennial of Tapestry”, Lodz, Poland; “International Biennial Symposium and Exhibition on Textile Art Scythia” Kherson, Ukraine; "The Week of Culture in Turkmenistan"; "The Week of Culture in Hungary"; "The Jagiellonian Art Fair", in Lublin, Poland, "Days of Ukraine in London" London, England; "Family Exhibitions at the Embassy of Ukraine" Paris (France), Sofia (Bulgaria), Athens (Greece), Consulate of Ukraine in Hamburg (Germany); "International Festival of Folk Art in Turkey"; International festival "Ethnic style" Kyiv, Ukraine. Since 2010 on the basis of Art Trade School in Resgetylivka, three International congresses on ethnic design have taken place.

Reshetylivka Museum of Artistic Crafts, where there is a department of carpet weaving, was established at Recreation and Culture Centre "Oberih". Since 1937 formal education has been provided by Reshetylivka Art Trade School, as well as Reshetylivka gymnasium named after I.L. Oliinyk and RCC "Oberig". In general education schools there are open lessons on Reshetylivka carpet weaving, competitions, exhibitions, master classes, excursions to local museums, flow charts and descriptions were prepared, videos about the technology of weaving were filmed.

Reshetylivka – the centre of Reshetylivka district Poltava oblast.

Area: 9 sq. km.

Population: 9337

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