My family and I were affected by the war already in 2014 when Russia invaded the Ukrainian territories in Donbas and Luhansk regions, where we come from. In 2014 my parents fled and left their home behind, but the war caught up with us again in 2022.
I remember the first days, and my emotions following February 24 almost hour by hour. I remember the explosions that woke me up in the morning; I remember me waking up my husband and telling him that the war began. I remember the absolute bewilderment and complete lack of understanding of what to do next. On the second day of the war, I saw anti-tank obstacles being installed in the park next to my house. It was almost impossible to believe, that these defense structures, that I only saw in war movies, became a part of my reality; as it is hard to believe that my husband and I practically lived for a week in the basement hiding from missile shelling.
It sounds strange, but after nine months of the war, I got used to it. To keep sane, the brain gets used to air alarms, possible shelling, and horrible news. It feels like I play in an old black-and-white movie with anti-tank hedgehogs in it. But now I find those hedgehogs beautiful; now I got used to living next to them. Now I admire their rusty red powerful shapes against the green grass, their long intertwined shadows at the sunset. I see them now as a sculptural embodiment of our powerful, adamantine, and taciturn defenders.
This is how the jewelry collection "Oberih" was born. My jewelry symbolizes war and unconquered people, protection, and faith in victory.