Alexandr Onishenko is a well-established artist in the Czech Republic. In 1998 he received the Masaryk Academy of Sciences award and the Franz Kafka medal. His home is in the countryside near Melnik, north of Prague. He says this area reminds him of his birthplace in the Ukraine. He has converted a church, perched high on a hill, from a decrepit state to a comfortable place to live for his family and a studio in which to paint - safe away from the crowds where he can keep the secret of the black canvas.