Culture Online


Social making: nature, ritual and community

Artist Olha Pryymak and researcher Sophie Page, UCL History

About the project

Social making: nature, ritual and community is a culmination of participatory events linked to the four seasons with local volunteers from Cordwainers Grow and Ukrainians who have recently arrived in east London. At these seasonal gatherings we used plant and animal materials - some of them, like flax, grown by Cordwainers in the garden - to make Ukrainian folk ritual objects including motanka (guardian dolls), didukhs (wheat sheafs representing ancestor spirits) and hromovytsia candles to protect against storms.

Embracing the collaborative mode of working, exchanges were developed over the project with the local performers and makers Olivia Armstrong, Maria Magdalena, Ganna and Vitalii Pryimak, Victoria Isai,  and Sofiya Marynyak. The side-by-side making and story exchanges about medieval magic and environments prompted by Sophie built connections between the communities, layering historical, ecological and cultural knowledge from medieval times to today.
Over this period, and for the exhibition Olha produced oil paintings that were informed by staging and witnessing the community making. The four paintings represent ritual objects made during the seasonal events. The are intended to bring the heightened and embodied experience of working with natural materials into the exhibition space.
Photographs credit: Sofiya Marynyak, 2023, 2024


About the artists

Artist Olha Pryymak works with the experiences of Ukrainian diaspora through the lens of mythology, folklore and ecology. She addresses these themes with social practice - staging multisensory, participatory and collaborative performances - and painting.
Sophie Page is a historian of medieval magic, cosmology and living things (animals and plants). She has research interests and expertise in ritual, cosmological world views, folk traditions, magical objects, animals and literary narratives.

Visit the Field Works exhibition


Hoxton Hall
130 Hoxton St
N1 6SH

Opening hours

Saturday 16 March - Monday 1st April
Tue-Sun and Bank Holidays
Late opening for events

FREE, NO BOOKING NEEDED. More details on the location and accessibility.



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