Ukranian Sand

The video in this post is of the amazing Ukranian artist Kseniya Simonova, who creates unusual and moving sand paintings. The video comes from a Ukranian television show. Think “Ukraine’s Got Talent”  instead of “American’s Got Talent””

As Simonova works on her sand painting, her progress  is projected on a screen for the audience. She weaves  a story of Ukraine’s experience in World War  II. We start with a peaceful scene of a couple on a park bench, then there’s war planes, then images of the heartache and glimmers of hope as her country goes through the agony of the war and its aftermath.

As you can see in the video, the audience is moved to tears.

At first blush, her talent seems odd. I mean, who would have thought of sand painting like this? But it is brilliant, and tells us that there are so many types of unusual talent out there, and we ought to look for it. In this case, credit my good friend Denis Desjarlais for alerting me to this.  He has rapid become my right hand man with this blog.

I also found some more examples of Simonova’s work.

As James Donaghy writes in the Guardian UK, widespread exposure to unique talent like Simonova’s is always a good thing. I especially like this from Donahgy: “If we take art’s purpose to illuminate the world in a new way, provoke a reaction, somehow alter the consciousness of the viewer, her work is a huge success.”

I would take that a step further and say anyone and anything is a success if they make us think in new ways.

The video of Simonova has gone viral, in much the same way Susan Boyle’s performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” last year. In that show, the frumpy and awkward Boyle appeared on stage as the audience tittered at her. Then Boyle opened her mouth and sang stunningly. Jaws dropped, the video went hugely viral, millions of people saw it and Boyle became an admired celebrity with an album on the top of the charts.

Boyle and Simonova  are the type of underdogs I’m really attracted to.  People might at first glance dismiss the two as a bit odd.  But if you give Boyle and Simonova just one second, you learn they have something huge to offer.

They challenge assumptions of what is beautiful and what is talent. What’s best, the viral videos of their performances put these good challenges in front of a receptive audience of millions.

Maybe we admire the likes of Boyle and Simonova because they offer us hope. As we schlepp through our sometimes humdrum lives and boring jobs, we pray that something special inside us will burst out into the world, as it did for Boyle and Simonova.

I like to think most of us have that potential. Maybe the success of Simonova and Boyle might help pry our potential out for the world to see. Or at least give us the courage to show everyone what we’ve got.


One Response to “Ukranian Sand”

  1. Denis Says:

    i think you are right when you said you thought most people have that potential. i can’t wait for mine to shine.

    btw, great post!

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