The Collection for Amnesia
Getting to Bohdan Petrychuk, an artist and collector from the village of Babyn, is not so easy after a downpour. You need to go constantly upwards, then downwards, sometimes even off-road. And in the village itself it is not possible to find the right house at once, and you either cannot ask Bohdan himself how to get there, because there is no mobile communication in this place. So, you only have to ask the road passers-by.
We found out on the spot that we are already the third or fifth guest of Bohdan that day. “Sometimes there are a lot of people, and sometimes no one. There is no balance in that life, ”says the owner. Bohdan is meeting us in hoodie and sweatpants, but soon changes into an embroidered shirt.
Keptars hang over the windows of Bogdan’s estate. The artist says that the clothes from the collection have to be constantly aired to prevent moths. In the living room we meet young directors who are making a film about Carpathian artists. The room is furnished in a minimalist and modern way, only a few artifacts, such as a candlestick or Kosiv ceramics, testify that we are in the Hutsul region.
Bogdan’s treasures are collected in a separate room. There, all the guests immediately diverge and start taking pictures of various household items that they like: old chests, carpets, bedspreads, plates, icons, corals, sardaks, keptars or all that wealth at the same time. The same story is with a long line of embroidered shirts, huddled together like passengers of a very popular route at rush hour.
Bogdan is a collector and designer. His main passion is clothes. He started collecting clothes at the age of thirteen, when he saw that a neighbor wanted to burn her shirts. Therefore, at fifteen or sixteen he already had a considerable collection.
He says that he always knew what was rare and valuable because this knowledge was being inherited from generation to generation in his family. Grandparents shared their memories about the type of clothes people wore. That’s why he was looking for what was lost. The main principle of the collection is to show what is almost gone.
7 years ago, the man himself began to create clothes. He created patterns and local craftswomen embroidered them. Now he is trying to move away from this, preferring machine embroidery.
Bohdan could stay in Chernivtsi or Kyiv, the cities where he studied. Especially since his main customers are usually from large cities, mostly from Lviv and the capital. So, it seems more logical to be closer to your customers. However, the designer remained in his home village.
Mountains and hometown or village are important features of Hutsul identity, which is perhaps most strongly felt by local craftsmen, as their works are extremely closely linked and intertwined with traditions and local canons.
Bogdan collects local clothes. Each village has its own fashion, it differs from others in color and technique. “The tradition of your village was considered fine, whether the other one- not fine, so you had to respect and preserve yours,” – explains the collector. And so, this practice continues to our days.
Therefore, thanks to Bohdan, the village becomes an attraction point. Thanks to him, the memory of clothes and people who wore and created them will remain in the village.
The designer remembers that when he was little, his parents were selling chests, while the boy and his grandmother were attending the funerals. “I saw many interesting funerals, and I remember as it was now what clothes were buried with the dead – blood drips from the heart.”
And thanks to such people like Bohdan, Babin has a chance to avoid amnesia.