Life and works
This art environment was created by Oleksiy Bondarenko, who was born in Pechenizhyn, probably in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
Bondarenko worked for 35 years as a decorator at a large furniture factory in Pechenizhyn. In 1995 the factory was privatized and it went bankrupt in 2013.
Around 1995 Bondarenko left the factory and everything indicates that he was retired.
He moved from Pechenizhyn to Runguri, where he settled in a house with a ground floor and an upper space. And then he apparently had enough free time to convert the outdoor area of the house, which was initially swampy, into a garden.
But the best indication is, that at that time as a self-taught artist he started to make sculptures, an activity about which there are no reports that he was making such creations before.
The picture above and the one below show how Bondarenko decorated the exterior of his new house with sculptures and other decorative items.
And the realistic appearance is also present in the portrayals of persons.
In this regard Bondarenko has said: "You must also know the anatomy of animals and people, so that the figures do not lose their proportions. We must also not forget the details of costumes and facial expressions. When I sculpt historical characters, I carefully study their portraits"
In a number of his sculptures Bondarenko portrayed persons from various ethnic groups living in Ukraine, such as the Cossacks (he made a sculpture that has been placed on the island of Khortytsya in the Djnepr river, an island which is said to be the cradle of the Zaporozhian Cossacks) and also the Hutsuls, an ethnic group of Ukrainian pastoral highlanders inhabiting the Hutsul region in the Carpathian Mountains, distinguished by their colorful, richly ornamented folk dress