This site uses cookies to help deliver services.
By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies.
Learn More.

Art Review by Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

15/09/2014 0 Comment(s) Media, Published,

Girl holding hand with teddy. In girls room with tree outside window and a dolls house on the floor. Original Artwork


"The first time I set eyes on Ludmila K’s painting I was transported back to my lost childhood. A time when I never knew what it was like to have a teddy. The girl and the teddy reflected back to me intense sadness. I was able though to look at the sadness of that loss of childhood and see it in the here and now."

H/t Ludmila Korol. This is a beautiful painting. I purchased it at George’s St. Arcade, Dublin, especially to place over my bedroom wall. It’s 15/150. Unfortunately it’s only a very modern canvas print. It has a slightly three-dimensional appearance. I believe that the quality – technology-wise – has been upgraded on latest paintings – of which mine falls into that category. The actual painting would cost a bomb.

My bohemian friend Mary and I frequently sip tea and consume homemade soup and bread at a school-room type cafe. The latter is laden with antiquarian school-benches, stools, magazines and old books galore. It’s situated directly opposite the artist’s stall from where I purchased the Girl with the Teddy painting.

I had been looking at the displayed paintings by the young artist, Ludmilla Korol – of whom the artist stall-holder is an agent – for a very long time and was besotted by them. They spoke volumes to me. I loved the abstract nature, Eastern European facial images and unusual foreign colouring of paints used in paintings. Not to mention the quirky animals, toys, musical instruments incorporated lovingly into the paintings. I was very mesmerised by them. I’ve always adored duvet prints from countries such as Sweden and Denmark and the vibrant Peruvian woollens intertwined with deep black and the loud African prints. Every country has its own special colours. I promised to treat myself to one of the paintings…they really don’t come cheap at all.

Ludmila Korol, the artist, was born in 1965 in the Ukraine. She graduated from Kiev State Academy Fine Art in 1989. From 1992 Ludmila lived and worked as an artist in Prague. In 1996 she moved to Ireland.


The paintings reflect the ever-changing landscape of human emotions. Described by the language of colour and an instinctive approach, the works contain a deep sensuality.

The paintings become meditations, vessels of an emotional life reflecting the profound travels of a heart and mind.

A subtle moment of awakening is expressed with paint, like the moments when the fragments of a dream of blue disappears gradually into the light of day.

The first time I set eyes on Ludmila K’s painting I was transported back to my lost childhood. A time when I never knew what it was like to have a teddy. The girl and the teddy reflected back to me intense sadness. I was able though to look at the sadness of that loss of childhood and see it in the here and now.

 I invite viewers in by breaking through the flat surface of the canvas using different materials to create complicated abstract layers. Colour is used to stimulate emotional balance or imbalance. It opens channels to the depths of the psyche; it can be a healing process for both the artist and viewer. My paintings are like friends, often subversive, disturbing, soothing, or contemplative.

Without knowing why, I choose bright vibrant colours, perhaps, as a protest to the greyness of the weather here in Ireland, or perhaps, in response to a yellow cottage or a bright door.

All the shapes are influenced by architectural drawings. Recent pieces reveal old photographs in-bedded imperceptibly into the painting.

Composition is important in contemporary art. Any chaos in the painting has a purpose. I am trying to find perfection with technique, and how the picture is made is as important as what it is in it. Subliminal influences could be the passage of time or a nod to Russian avant-garde. The layers draw you hypnotically into the painting.

Each colour and every shape is carefully thought out. I contemplate a long time before I add a line or shape. If you were to change one colour or remove one shape the painting would lose its balance.

When I approach the easel, I already know the colours I will use whether black and or red or blue and red. The frame is never crowded. I am subliminally searching for perfect harmony

The doll’s house with green walls equates with Ireland and the red door is symbolic of one that’s seen in a picture post-card of ‘Edwardian doors’ from Ireland. The house reflects the Irish landscape. Irish people do have the propensity to paint some doors with very vivid colours, just like ones seen in pictures from very warm countries. The former can look at variance with the greyness of the climate just as LK has observed.

I’m reminded of a time long ago when I arrived in London after a long sojourn in Switzerland. I remember being utterly gobsmacked at the ‘greyness’ of the buildings, notwithstanding the attire of the people. And the continual rainy weather only added to that Charles Dicken’s kind of bleakness. It was so depressing that I wanted to flee back to Switzerland. Now we know that brightness helps the mood of people. It makes them more convivial. I was coming from a country that was so bright because of the long months of snow and sunshine. The Swiss people were clad in very bright winter clothes.

When I looked at the teddy l saw that it resembled a child and the girl resembled a mother. The teddy it seemed had almost human-like qualities. The girl has very strong Eastern European features. I also thought of the famous abstract artist Knuttel.  I was also taken with the brown striped dress and the bare tree outside the window. There was an autumnal and contemplative feeling about life and the not so safe feelings about it that one has on occasions. Yet, still and all, there was lurking there a quiet steady optimism that one  one needs every now and again, to go there in order to step out in confidence once again. One step backward and two steps forward.

Ironically, there were a lot of paintings on display of a particular Temple Bar pub – which is painted in red. They looked so vibrant and really stood out against the all too ‘grey’ backdrop. I too took photos and video footage of the same pub a long wile ago, because it stood out and for the reasons that LK speaks.

Ludmila Korol’s work reminds me of somewhat of Graham Knuttel’s with respect of its abstract realism/surrealism.

Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin


Survivor of an Irish Industrial *School*.


Leave a Comment