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(All graphic images are made on the reverse sides of the gravestones)

Kiev (cemetery "Berkovtsy")
Kharkov (cemetery)
the neighborhood of Kiev, a small rural cemetery.
Izmail (Odessa region). cemetery.
2011, 2012

From olden times, cave man had a desire to capture something from his everyday life, and nourished hope maybe to prolong that moment, by giving it a memory and by giving it eternal life. The first pictures which are known to us depict hunting scenes – thus, something which occupied the bulk of time, getting food which gave life. This was his main activity, and the main topic in cave paintings.

Little has changed in the modern world – man all the same longs to leave behind memory for the descendants, a sign of the spent life. While the next generation want to keep a remembrance of their ancestors, the close ones, and friends. To keep in their memory the people who are passing over, because a whole world, by which he had lived, passes over with a man.

And similarly, there are ‘’rock paintings’’, which nowadays cover burial stones and monuments, tombs of the late ones. Putting engravings about the dead person’s life on tomb stones is a very common ritual in Ukraine, as in other countries of the former USSR. This kind of art is popular amid middle-class inhabitants, and ritual engravers’ business is flourishing.

Only these days such pictures depict a much wider range of manifestations of life. Typical themes for depicting on a tomb stone is a symbolic presenting of what the deceased person was – profession, occupation, lifestyle, various interests, dreams, achievements, aspirations, or some scenes from life. In the grand scheme of things, it’s like drawing all the same livelihood hunting, resources extraction, but in a more sophisticated way.

One can find on these grave stones pictures of idyllic landscapes characteristic to these places. And thus, by reading pictures alone, one is able to tell something about a complete stranger. One can even follow history and development of a country. In a way, it can be treated as an illustrated history of the whole nation, which is comprised of individuals.