An Ukrainian in Australia

Special Project of the Library of Ukrainian Art

Illustrations of exotic nature and animals by Philip Wakulenko


Philip Wakulenko

About Philip Wakulenko – the artist, photographer and writer, who was born in Kharkiv in 1923 but the most part of his life lived in Australia, is known a bit. In 1942 year he was taken to Germany for forced labor. He worked as a teacher in camps for displaced persons. Since 1948 Wakulenko lived in Australia, where he worked in a railway depot and parallely studied at the Institute of Applied Arts in Melbourne. In 1962, Philip Wakulenko founded his own company of phototypesetting.

During the whole his artistic career – from 1952 to 2000 – Philip Wakulenko was publishing books. A few of them are illustrated by Dmitrii Chub and Bozhena Sirko. But the most of books were illustrated by Philip Wakulenko himself. Among his publications there are artistic, scientific and publicistic books.

Pearl of Philip Wakulenko’s creativity is edition Among the Corals (1977) dedicated to the exotic underwater inhabitants of Australia waters. In this book the author has created everything: exciting text, skillful photos, graphic illustrations. To the similar principle was created book Papua New Guinea (1979). These books establish the unity of content and external form; demonstrate extraordinary taste and professionalism of the author.

There are only two books with full-color illustrations by Philip Wakulenko: “Happy Kukabara” (1955) for which he wrote the text, and Flying gems (1957). Library of Ukrainian Art publishes these unique illustrations. For “Happy Kukabara” Wakulenko has created illustration of exotic animals from Australia – kangaroo, koala, emu, opossum and others. The pictures of “Flying gems” show the distant nature and life of aborigines. We can observe not only the interesting work of the artist, but see the tropical nature through Ukrainian eyes.

Covers by Philip Wakulenko

Illustrations to the book “Flying gems”

Illustrations to the book “Kukabara”