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Kseniya Simonova’s Sand Drawing

Today’s inspiration is a little bit different. I started doing the Friday Inspiration posts because I find myself sending links to my video team all the time, and figured others might be inspired, too. So they’re usually video-based art pieces. But today’s inspiration, though it’s a filmed piece, is of a sand artist. And it shows art at its most powerful, having the ability to create beauty and emotion and action.

This was emailed to me. I’ll include the text form the email. I do not know if it’s all accurate, but I have no reason to believe otherwise. I love that this artist is working in an unfixed medium, and it’s more than just a collection of still images, but there’s also art in how it moves from one vignette to the next. Here’s the background, followed by the video:

This video shows the winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent”, Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $130,000.00

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.

It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears.

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.

Kseniya Simonova says:
“I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And there’s surely no bigger compliment.”