Bookshelves, look all over the internet and you can see pictures full of beautiful wondrous informative books, floor to ceiling treasures about design, great poets, travel, illustration, music....endless subjects.
I get bookshelf envious a lot and book cover envious too. I have been known to buy a book just for the cover and then sometimes be forever upset at how the insides have let me down. Yesterday I decided enough was enough and I was going to make my bookshelves nice as well. I had plans to coordinate, cross reference, create sections like science and nature, zines, history, butterflies and insects, children's and cats. I emptied all of them and dusted and cleaned, found an ant that had been strung up in a web and eaten by a spider and realised what's the point? My shelves reflect my brain, organised in an odd way where I can find everything and know exactly where things are even if they are in piles covered with papers, shells and the occasional spider restaurant.
In my tidyings I found this beauty -The book of Petrykivka Decorative Painting.
I had never come across it before but its wonderful and on further inspection and a Google search I found this snippet from the UNESCO website-
'The people of the village of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a style of ornamental painting that is characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements, based on careful observation of the local flora and fauna. This art is rich in symbolism: the rooster stands for fire and spiritual awakening, while birds represent light, harmony and happiness. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil. Local people, and in particular women of all ages, are involved in this folk art tradition. Every family has at least one practitioner, making decorative painting an integral part of daily existence in the community. The painting traditions, including the symbolism of the ornamental elements, are transferred, renewed and enhanced from one generation to another. Local schools at all levels, from pre-school to college, teach the fundamentals of Petrykivka decorative painting, with all children given the opportunity to study it. The community willingly teaches its skills and know-how to anyone who shows an interest. The tradition of decorative and applied arts contributes to the renewal of historical and spiritual memory and defines the identity of the entire community'
Flipping heck I thought, and even moreso as I started to look inside.
As the book is split into Ukrainian, German and English I concentrated on the artists illustrations and after more data searches I came across a full exhibit catalogue all about Petykivka art here that you can look at nice.
I am very pleased with my tucked away book but also annoyed that you can have so many of these little treasures around but you never manage to take the time to find out about them. I like my bookshelves now and I am putting 'learn to become a petrykivka painter' on my list. Have you found any nice books lurking on forgotten shelves recently?