An exhibition of ornately decorated eggs that are rich in history and symbolism – Pysanky.
The Pysanky custom is ancient. One legend from the Carpathian Mountains tells that the concept of evil is personified as a dreadful cave-dwelling serpent. For every Pysanka written, the serpent’s chains tighten. Good will triumph for another year and evil cannot roam free in the world.
The very act of ‘writing’ each pysanka egg is therefore profound and hopeful. Each egg decorated represents a physical act of creative solidarity in the struggle against evil. The artist also wants to help raise awareness of the traditional Ukrainian art form. The tradition was banned under the Soviet Union.
Artist Tory Hayward has decorated, or ‘written’, one hundred eggs for this exhibition. They are a mixture of hen, goose and rhea eggs. Also on display are pysanky decorated by members of the Nottingham Ukrainian community, alongside their perspectives on the tradition. The exhibition is further decorated with crowdsourced Pysanky designs submitted by the members of the local community.
We’ve produced a catalogue giving the background to each of the 100 designs Tory has written. Download the catalogue as a PDF.
‘100 Eggs for Ukraine’ is an outcome of our RESIDENCE project.
Support the cause
Each of Tory Hayward’s 100 eggs are for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the DEC. The Disasters Emergency Committee is a group of 15 charities, all experts in humanitarian aid and specialists in different areas of disaster response. DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
If you would like to donate without buying an egg, visit the project’s JustGiving page.
About the Artist
Tory Hayward is self-taught printmaker. She has developed a unique style of linocut relief prints, using traditional materials and tools. Tory’s influences included the natural world, Japanese printmaking and the occult. In 2020, her printmaking work was awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Project (DYCP) award. For this exhibition, she is applying her printmaking skills to Ukrainian folk art.
With thanks to
The project has been a huge community effort, with many people and organisations offering their support. Tory would like to thank:
- Stonebridge City Farm
- Page’s Poultry
- Anglian Bespoke Corrugated and Packaging
- Green’s Windmill
- The King Billy Pub
- By Our Hands
- The Fox and Grapes
- Ukrainian EggCessories
- Nottingham’s Ukrainian Community
- Clarence Court
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