Dasha Tsapenko, Ruslana Goncharuk, Marjo Van Schaik

Growing Gunya

Totemic Apparel for this Winter

17 Dec 2022
4 Mar 2023

Gunya is a Ukrainian traditional wool coat, originally worn by Hutsul shepherds in the Carpathian mountains. Providing physical protection from severe weather and animals, throughout the years it has carried a deep symbolic meaning, serving as an amulet for its owners. Using the classic shepherd’s coat as a template, we tell stories of local materials, natural components and living organisms. The use of different cellulose and protein based materials in combination with natural dyeing techniques show the ample variety of outcomes and possibilities.


Gunya MYCouture #1 .5 - Photography credits :  Alex Blanco Process : Marjo van Schaik, Dasha Tsapenko

Dasha Tsapenko

Dasha Tsapenko  is a bio-designer, who works with elements of art, fashion and material research. She investigates alternative production processes in (textile) design and is inspired by symbiotic relationships in nature. Dasha collaborates with various non-human species like fungi and (edible) plants. These collaborations result in grown garments, tapestries and textile pieces. Dasha does research on mycelium at the University of Utrecht and coaches at Design Academy Eindhoven. Her works were shown among others at Floriade (Almere, 2022), Castellum Hoge Woerd (Utrecht, 2022), MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven, 2020)  Radialsystem (Berlin, 2019), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2019), Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven,  2017, 2018, 2019, 2022).

Ruslana Goncharuk 

Ruslana Goncharuk was born in Yavoriv, a village in western Ukraine, known for its weaving traditions, passed on from generation to generation. Ruslana learned this craft from her grandmother and mother in the early age. In the last years her practice has focused on researching native Ukrainian symbols, patterns and (weaving) techniques and applying them in traditional and contemporary garments that she creates. Ruslana closely collaborates with theaters, creating costumes for plays. (“Gutsulka Ksenya” for Ivano-Frankivsk Drama Theatre). In the past years she received several awards on preserving the ancient craft and Hutsul traditions.

Marjo Van Schaik

After 20 years, Marjo van Schaik resumed her work as a designer and maker of fabrics and clothes. She was educated at the Modeacademie Bijenveld in Amsterdam in the 1980s and dropped out partly because of increasing commercialisation in the fashion industry. Marjo was intendant of international cultural projects such as Europe by People in Amsterdam and Brussels (2016) and designer of Downside up in Soledar in Ukraine (2021). Now she works with wool and other natural materials such as hemp and vegetable dyes to create new concepts. The wool she works with comes from Dutch sheep, which is considered waste. With her work, she wants to show the strength, softness and beauty of this ‘waste’.



Gunya Kozovannya - Credits : Stichting Art-East + Art-West  Stichting Narada Dutch Design Foundation   All final photos: Alex Blanco Process: Marjo van Schaik, Dasha Tsapenko


Exhibited Garments



This exhibition will be open from the 16th of December, 2022 till the 4th of March, 2023

It will take place every week from Tuesday to Sunday

From 12:00 PM to 21:00 PM




Gunya Seed Bank - Credits : Stichting Art-East + Art-West  Stichting Narada Dutch Design Foundation   All final photos: Alex Blanco Process: Marjo van Schaik, Dasha Tsapenko