When considering the amount of destruction that has occurred since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it's difficult not to feel helpless in the face of an enemy that has presented itself as gargantuan and merciless. Despite this threat, I have been amazed by the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people-- as a Ukrainian-American I wanted to overcome my despair by making the biggest impact I could using the resources I have.
Poppies are a Ukrainian symbol for victory in war as well as the remembrance of fallen heroes. They’re often depicted in embroidery, one of the most distinguishable components of traditional Ukrainian dress, in a pattern similar to the background flowers. The subject was drawn in a style that is a personal homage to Ukrainian artist Jacques Hnizdovsky, whose bold woodcuts have made a global impact in the fine art community. The red to black gradient mirrors the flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which has become a cultural symbol for the resistance to Russian imperialism and is often seen as an alternative to the Ukrainian flag at protests worldwide.