Olha Pryymak/Ukraine

Olha Pryymak



Painting, performance, sound sculpture, tea making, video and print

residency July 2019







I am a London-based Ukrainian artist and herbal tea maker who uses art as a tool for remembering and applying inter-generational knowledge in impactful ways.  My current body of work originates in fascination with folklore surrounding herbal tea and medicine. I recreate the elements of Eastern European healing tea drinking rituals in the form of participatory performances. The background of long lineage of women-herbalists in the family gives me the agency to activate these exchanges. The most recent concept of tea performances, designed within the framework of SPACE London Creative Network, invites audience to describe/recreate for me their personal rituals, addressing the disturbance and entropy in social fabric.  

Audience participation is very important for me. I start with inviting one to three people for conversations around a cup of herbal tea.  I like calling these meetings over tea – ‘social sculptures’.  The reiterations of the performances at the Phytology Bethnal Green Nature Reserve and the Ennismore Old Sessions House served as a launch pad for the consequent painting works. The paintings are exclusively of women in various states of action, urging for change,  fulfilling their desires and crafting own narratives.



Translation: Olly Thwaite, Yuko Kanda


タイトル 「Tea Session Workshop」

アーティスト:オーラ・プリマク /ウクライナ http://opryymak.com



会場:アーティスト・イン・レジデンス山梨 2階スタジオ




Title [Tea Session]

Artist : Olha Pryymak /Ukraine

Date : 7/6 sat, 7/13sat, 7/20 Sat 11:00-12:00

Venue : Artist In Residence Yamanashi [AIRY] studio 

Address : 2-37-2 Marunouchi, Kofu, Yamanashi

Fee : donation required

Applicate : FB event page, FB or Instagram DM


Olha invites the audience to participate in her drinkable sculpture to both take it in as an object of contemplation and consumption.  The audience are welcome to taste the fermented drinks displayed in the installation.  The fermented drinks – kvass, kefir and amazake – are all ancient low-alcohol recipes, kvass being first recorded in the Kyiv Rus Chronicles.  Fermentation, as well as dried herbs serve as a metaphor for transformation, death and rebirth. As bacteria breaks down the plant ingredients into easily digestible nutrients, it is transferring energy to their next consumer in the food chain.

The miniature dioramas that comprise the sculpture along with the drinks are populated with anthropomorphic figures. The Jomon dogu-like imagery brings to mind the idealised hunter-gatherer society in equilibrium with nature. The uncanny landscape where normally delicate dried herbs menacingly tower over the clay figurines bring to mind the role of humans in their environment. 

This sculptural installation represents the negotiation between natural and man-made.  

The artwork offers the audience a frame for participation and transformation as they insert themselves into nature’s greater metabolic system.

 オーラは冥想と飲料の対象として、それを取り入れるために彼女の「飲める彫刻」に参加するように観客に勧めます。観客のみなさまにはインスタレーションに展示されている発酵飲料を味わっていただけます。発酵飲料のクバス、ケフィア、甘酒 はすべて古代の低アルコールレシピで、クバスは最初にKyiv Rus Chronicles(原初年代記)に記録されました。発酵または乾燥ハーブは、変容、死、そして再生の比喩として役立ちます。バクテリアは植物の成分を消化しやすい栄養素に分解するので、食物連鎖の次の段階にエネルギーをつなぎます。





とある休日、AIRY に滞在中のアーティスト、オーラさん のティーセッションに参加させていただきました。学校から帰るとランドセルをおろして庭のハーブを摘み、木陰でハーブティーをたしなむのが至福のひととき、という子供時代を送った私にとって、まさにどストライクなワークショップでありました。タイムやベリーの葉、ローズヒップなどを素敵なケトルで煮出して。
(Fluunt 甲府オーナーシェフ 風間由布 右端)