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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

Drawing Kristyna

Kristyna Ilek is one of my MA research project participants and a dear friend of mine. Since I have access to so many lovely photos of her, I decided to start the project by drawing some sketches of her.

Kristyna is a queer, Czech woman who is currently undertaking a PhD on mental health care in performing arts from perspective of dramaturgy at Belfast university. We met during the Destructura forum in Estonia and now work together as part of an art collective, Dare to Care, which focuses on the mental health of artists.

Since Kristyna has found the request to choose colours for her portrait a bit challenging, I decided to start with some line drawings using pencil, chalk or ink. These sketches I have created were trying to capture her demeanour and gestures through light and shadow rather than focussing on the details.

I was very fortunate to have so many great photos to work from, which were either taken during the Destructura forum in Estonia or our collective's art residency in Helsinki at Myymala 2 gallery.

I loved working from these "action" shots, which are unposed and have a geniune, authentic feel to them. In my previous portaiture project, looking at "Brexiles", I worked from selfies or portrait photographs which are slightly contrived in comparison to these images. I did create one final sketch from a "posed" photograph so I had a clear image of Kristyna's face.

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