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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Iryna Senyk Memorial - White Aster of Love

TORONTO - I had a chance to talk about the White Aster of Love project at the "Метелики спогадів" memorial tribute for Iryna Senyk on Dec 6, 2009. Pictured with me is UCWLC member Bozhena Iwanusiw who often visited Iryna in Ukraine and attended her funeral Oct 27, 2009 in Lviv. I'm holding my portfolio of embroidered garments created from Iryna's 50 fashion sketches smuggled out in 1989.

The publication of White Aster of Love and its gala multimedia book launch in 1992 was my most satisfying accomplishment to date. I was commissioned by UCWLC St. Demetrius branch in Toronto as the fashion designer to help interpret Iryna Senyk’s unique fashion sketches into wearable art. I consulted with 27 women and helped each one recreate a dress style based on the sketches, as well as embroidered samplers trying out their colour schemes. Then I designed and produced the bilingual deluxe book shown below. Iryna’s poetry was translated into English and each one was illustrated by her unique charted miniature embroideries. On Sep 27, 1992, each lady modeled her dress at the premiere fashion show which included a montage of Iryna's poems, transparencies of her fashion sketches and show of original embroidered creations at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom in Toronto. Iryna's presence at the Book Launch was our dream come true because after all, it was her poetry and fashion sketches. Afterwards, 1,000 books were shipped to Ukraine for distribution to schools and libraries. The Premiere show was repackaged into a traveling slide show which made its rounds around Ontario, Montreal and Detroit, USA.

Iryna Senyk, poet, former political prisoner who spent 34 years in Soviet hard-labor camps and exile, member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG), died on October 25, 2009 at the age of 83. Indescribable suffering, hunger, degradation, failed to crush her invincible spirit.

May Her Memory be Eternal!

"Вічна її пам'ять"

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