(*a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration)
Finally I am back in Germany and need to catch up on so much news to share with you! So, without further ado, I jump in with news from the Ukraine: On the 28th of September (while I was busy creating land art in South Africa) my public sculpture project “Three Young Muses” has been unveiled in Dnipro City.
I was invited by the German Consulate of Donezk and Artsvit Gallery to create a public artwork as a gift to the city. It was a challenging project, due to several logistical, time, budget and planning constraints, but with such a great team working together it all was successfully completed in time for the German Weeks. The artwork was installed opposite of the Yavornytsky National Historical Museum.
The Three Young Muses have been installed here to create a direct visual and conceptual link to the ancient Baba figurines. They are three young, modern-day women who relax on the grass of the park and contemplate the future.
In dialog with the ancient Babas, these young Muses hope to inspire modern society to re-embrace the female wisdom and power in order to balance the male and female energies in society. They also remind us that our generations are responsible to consciously envision and co-create our future.
Unlike their ancient stone counterparts, the Three Young Muses are made out of ash wood. Their wooden nature is symbolic for life, growth and transformation. The wood’s vulnerability and semi-permanent nature also represents our fast-paced modern times and reminds us to live in the present moment, as reality changes faster than ever. By focussing on the Now we have the power to determine and shape the future according to our highest vision. If you would like to know more about my thoughts behind this work, I have added some at the bottom.
A short video documentation about the Three Young Muses Art Project
Video: Serge Ostrianyn, With the kind permission of Artsvit Gallery
I would like to thank the German consul Mr Mössinger and the team of the German Consulate of Donezk, Ms Iryna Polikarchuk, Director of the Artsvit Gallery and her team and the City of Dnipro for this opportunity. Also thank you to Bazarenko Yuriy (Architect), Serge Ostrianyn (Video), Vita Popova (Photos), Nikita Shalenny (Studio space) and Liosha (Assistance).
Some pictures (click on images to see a larger view):
More Info regarding the background of the Three Young Muses (if you are interested in the nitty-gritty details 😉 ):
Cooperation / Together we are stronger.
They are a small group of three women, named: Love, Hope and Gratitude. I believe that these three qualities are essential to our peaceful future.
The three women are also symbolic of the three backgrounds coming together in the creation of the sculpture through a German- Namibian artist creating in the Ukraine. Together we are stronger and the more we understand that there are no differences between people, no matter where they come from or who they are, the easier we can co-exist and co-create a better future for all. Each lady is symbolical for one of the three countries connected here: Ukraine, Germany and Namibia.
The third dimension – we do things in threes so they will manifest in our physical realm.
It’s roots stem from the meaning of multiplicity. Creative power; growth. Three is a moving forward of energy, overcoming duality, expression, manifestation and synthesis. Three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end.
The power of three is universal. Body, mind and soul. Birth, life and death. Heaven, earth and hell. Three is a complete cycle unto itself. It is past, present, future.
There are three wishes, and in many fairytales there are three sisters…
Past, Present and Future
The Babas look towards the Three Young Muses and put their hope and expectations into the young generation, especially the women, to get engaged and empowered to change our destiny.
The viewer, when passing the Three Young Muses on the park walkway, will be located between the past (Babas) and the future (Three Young Muses), and will become the link, the present moment, which shapes our future. I hope that we learn from the past, but look towards the future.
Size and Material
The Three Young Muses are created only slightly larger than real-life women. I hope this invites people to engage on eye-level with the artwork and ideas behind it. Possibly to sit between or around these figures and get inspired…
I believe that unlike older, monumental public sculptures, which create a distance to the viewer, contemporary art should be more interactive and accessible. The size and the vulnerable material highlight these ideas.
When faced with the obvious ‘weakness’ of the material, the responsibility to treat these figures with respect and care now lies with each member of the public. It will be interesting to see, if and how people ‘accept this challenge’ of openly displayed vulnerability. Will they be treated according to our inherent deep-seated values towards women, art or public property? Can we trust each other with our vulnerability? Do we let ourselves be inspired by their openness, confidence and soft strength that these Muses display?
The choice of wood (symbolism of the Ash tree):
According to different sources that I found on the Internet, Ash wood is a symbol of healing and especially transformation and empowerment in matters of destiny.
It is also considered to be “the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation.”
Relation to and inspiration by the stone Babas:
The specific form in which the Three Young Muses were conceptualised has been inspired by the Baba figures, of which I have read:
“A widespread form of sculptures were steles of a simplified anthropomorphic type that were formed of flat right-angled stone plates. Their lower part was not worked as it was meant to be dug into the ground, though they had carefully shaped shoulders and heads with well-carved facial characteristics. …
…are Polovtsian (Cuman) stone babas. There are about two thousand of them left. They are usually found in groups of 2 – 3 statues on the highest parts of steppe – on the sanctuaries of the funeral cult of ancestors. Polovtsian statues symbolized their ancestors and were not directly connected with the burial ritual.
… At the end of the century a visible simplification of form took place when the back of the statue was not decorated, also the details of haircuts and costumes were missing on the front side.
View more images about the creation of my Three Young Muses at: http://artsvit.dp.ua/news/skulpturna-kompozicya-vd-mke-rust-v-dnpr/