On Friday, June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade, effectively endangering the lives of women around the country. Following the ruling, MakersPlace launched O(v.)erturned, a month-long exhibition for women’s rights featuring female artists championing the bodily autonomy and freedom of choice every woman deserves.

In addition to showcasing their art, MakersPlace is also hosting a number of Twitter Spaces to hold intimate conversations with some of the artists featured in O(v.)erturned. Ukrainian artist Nadiia Forkosh is one such artist. 

In a conversation with Aisha Arif, MakersPlace’s community marketing lead, Forkosh goes into detail about “NIKTA,” the piece she created for “O(v.)erturned,” and what goals she seeks to achieve with her art.

AA: Nadiia, do you want to start us off and tell us about yourself as an artist? [You have also] just released a brand new piece for this exhibition [titled ‘NIKTA’], maybe you could tell us a little bit about that piece as well?

NF: For me, it’s my mission to understand how the universe understands digital color and physical color, as well as its shape, because when we present the NFT as digital, the viewers can be passive. So NFTs are more active; digital colors are more active for viewers because they can be animated and have music. When you present physical colors on canvases and shapes, the canvas can be passive. I mean for perception — the audience must be more active in this way. 

I’m really hoping that [I can unite physical and digital art]. About the featured work: It’s a bit of a fairy tale. It’s called “NIKTA,” a night goddess. Actually, it will be [part of] a book. It’s a page, and I hope that in the future [I can make it part of] one story. It will be a page in a book where on each page, you can get a QR code. If you find the QR code, you’ll get a link to the NFT and see the animated stories. 

In this work, I tried to convey the mystery and, at the same time, the sophistication of the night. For me, a mysterious night is a fabulous night because everything is possible, and the light in the windows of a small town are lurking in anticipation. The whole city is dominated by the mysterious lady with stars in her head. So I hope in the future, I will manage [to make it part of a book]. 

AA: I think that is one of the best ways that we can kind of introduce the traditional art world and traditional art lovers to NFTs, and even vice versa. So that’s really exciting. And I think brilliant, as well. I wanted to ask you, Nadiia: You’re based in Ukraine, and there’s been a lot going on there, as everyone should know by now. You have still been really working as an artist and pushing your art out, and I think you are, in a lot of ways, raising awareness through your art. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the role that like artists play in activism and in bringing awareness to issues like what’s happening in Ukraine, or what’s happening right now in the U.S.

NF: It’s really hard. My friends there who [I’ve taught art with], they are dying because there’s a war. It’s really hard to talk very calmly about it. But what MakersPlace supports — the principle of freedom and that people can leave, do the things that they want and [move where and how they want] — I absolutely support what you’re doing. 

With the situation in Ukraine, it’s really hard to be artists and humans now, and preserve humanity. I just want to preserve that something exists. 

People should believe in hope about life, about happiness in the future. I don’t [make] my art [too serious or turn it] to the dark side. I am, just maybe, sometimes too optimistic, but I really hope that something more exists that makes us human, [and doesn’t make us turn to revenge or aggression]. So I’m doing my job even if it’s really hard to concentrate. 

I still can’t go back to my home. I’ve been away from home since February. And my family, when I left the studio and just closed the door in February, lived just on the border. 

This is life. It’s not possible to explain or just describe, you just [have to see it in reality]. I didn’t wish for it, and I don’t wish it for you. It’s horrible. So, I will always side with freedom and support a project like MakersPlace’s exhibition – and the artists – in any case, whatever happens.

AA: Thank you so much, Nadiia, for sharing with us. You are someone that is so inspiring to so many of us in the space and everything that you do with your artwork has been amazing. 

For more on Nadiia Forkosh and her art, you can read her recent interview with MakersPlace and view her artist landing page.

And be sure to take a look at the rest of “O(v.)erturned” to support other female artists.

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