Yurko Dyachyshyn “Terra Galicia”

Terra Galicia is a project devoted to the land and scenery of Galicia (Halychyna) the historical and
geographic region in western Ukraine.
It shows the region’s landscapes, their unsophisticated beauty, diversity and spirit that are
sometimes ignored because of their simplicity and unpretentiousness.
Terra Galicia is an “undiscovered” and unexplored land even though it is nearby. Terra Galicia is, in
essence, Terra Incognita.
On the one hand, Terra Galicia is Halychyna but, on the other hand, it is a separate planet. As you
watch these cosmic landscapes you can imagine traveling in space and visiting various places of the
unknown planet Terra Galicia.

Terra Galicia is an non-typical project for me. Those who are acquainted with my art were surprised. I
had no intentions to depict Halychyna in this form and the idea to do this arose spontaneously.
I had never been interested in the landscape photography and I even used to ignore and despise it.
Now this is something new for me, bringinging me pleasure and enabling me to think and look in a
different way. I am excited about new emotions and discoveries.
Ai Weiwei used to say “Loneliness is a valuable feeling. Artists need to know how to walk alone.”
Working on the project Terra Galicia, I spent a lot of time alone in the fields which helped me to
meditate, think and philosophize and this is a therapy of some sort. Loneliness is indeed a very
powerful emotion that is not all the time pleasant. Exploring the Terra I function like a lonely time
traveler.
My Terra Galicia is a “planet” and you can compare it with being lost on another planet with the
place left for fantasies and dreams…
The work lasted for two years from April 2017 to April 2019.
During that time frame 70 trips were undertaken and the total of 13000 kilometers were covered.
The place of photography was Halychyna that is Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions.
The route and locations were chosen using Google Maps. Usually I would pick a point on the map and
then cover field after field and road after road. Halychyna has a rather simple landscape and I tried
really hard to see something unusual and spectacular. One needs time and inspiration to look around
and enjoy the scenery of the “planet” Halychyna.
I avoided popular and “sweet” landscape themes in the project, such as sunrises or sunsets. The
pictures do not contain humans, animals, buildings and elements of the infrastructure or other local
features that emphasize on them being located in Halychyna. The planet Terra Galicia still has much
room for fantasies and dreams.
Working on the project, I constantly returned to the same spots like a lost traveler who hopes to find
something or somebody they were not able to do the previous time within the same space.
It is interesting to observe how the land changes with cycles sequence, light and year seasons
transformation. The joy of visiting the “field” with its smells, space and calmness and new discoveries

of the planet Terra Galicia is a therapy. At least for a moment, it is a distraction from the routine that
surrounds all of us.
Finding the planet Terra Galicia can last infinitely in time.
Yurko Dyachyshyn
April 2019.