The Hürrem collection

“My one and only love”

By Ailene Cuthbertson. Danced by Elena Spektor.

©2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, My one and only love. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm
©2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, My one and only love. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm

A girl in a bright dress crosses a bridge. She’s leaving her past behind and starting one of the greatest love stories in history…

Our tale begins long ago in Ruthenia (now western Ukraine) where a girl, Aleksandra, was born. But we can’t spend time with Aleksandra in Ruthenia. Crimean Tatars raided her village and took her as a slave. She was sent to the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, to the harem of Suleiman the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

In Ukraine, the kalyna bush, with its bright red winter berries, is a national symbol intertwined in legend and folklore. At this point in our story, Aleksandra could be said to be crossing the kalyna bridge, symbolising the ending of her time of youth and leaving the past behind.

She doesn’t know it yet, but she will find freedom, happiness, and love. So because this is a love story, we could also say that Aleksandra is walking down the kalyna bridge, meaning she will fall in love.

  • Title “My one and only love”
  • Artist Ailene Cuthbertson
  • Medium Photograph
  • Year 2017

Part of the Hürrem collection

A slave girl’s sultry glance and swirl of skirts captures the heart of a Sultan. Here’s where splashes of rich colour weave through one of history’s greatest love stories.

“My one and only love” is digital art, giclée printed with long-life ink on 100% cotton rag fine art paper – a high quality print that will last a lifetime.

© 2017, Ailene Cuthbertson, My one and only love. Photograph, 30 cm x 30 cm.

This print is a limited edition of 10, and comes in one size, 12″ x 12″ (30 cm x 30 cm).

Choose from framed or unframed:

Unframed, so you can choose a frame to suit your décor
$250 NZD

Professionally framed with a classic, antique-feel, off-white frame, and UV protective glass, ready to hang
$410 NZD

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I may be able to direct you to a gallery or exhibition where you can see this print in person (which is always the best!) Otherwise, I’ll order a print for you. Please allow some time for my wonderful local printers to print and frame – depending on how busy they are, it may take a few weeks. Let me know if there's a particular date you have in mind!

It seems like every single picture tells not just a little story about Hürrem’s life but also conveys emotions she could feel during a particular period of her life.