An abstract painting on which an image of the Madonna and a Cruficix allegedly appeared have led Ukrainian artist Eleńa Ryzhykh to turn to religious art.

“In 2008, a miracle happened on one of my abstract works. Scenes of the Madonna with a baby and a praying figure with a Crucifix appeared on a vertical, large canvas. I felt indebted to God for this miracle and spent four years writing Bible stories,” Ryzhykh told the Times of Malta.

A selection of her Bible-themed works are among 30 paintings currently on display at the Fortress Builders − Fortifications Interpretation Centre in Valletta. The exhibition, titled Spectrum, also features abstract coloristic structures and laconic landscapes.

“This exhibition, at the invitation of the President of Malta, was a priority dream and I devoted all my strength and resources to it,” she commented. 

“It will open visitors to the world of love for God, for the saints, for people, nature and art,” she added.

Ryzhykh is mainly known for her abstract and figurative works and has held several solo exhibitions in Kiev, Europe and the US. She has participated in numerous festivals and biennials in Italy and France, and won international awards. Her works are found in museums in Ukraine, Georgia, Russia and the US and in private collections as far apart as South Africa and Norway.

The exhibition is open on the third floor of the Fortress Builders − Fortifications Interpretation Centre in Valletta until Sunday. Opening hours: daily from 9am to 4pm and on Saturday from 9am to 1pm. For earlier or later visits, call the centre on 2122 8594.

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