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Innovation with a few pinches of Sand - Ms Kseniya Simonova

Jennifer Goddard's picture

Going to the beach during school holidays??

This is something you should definitely try at home!

As a outstanding example of Innovation, Kseniya Simonova, 24, the winner of last year's Ukraine's Got Talent combined music, sand and a lightbox in a mesmerising story of "how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II"

While watching her performance I couldn't help but think of the quote "[the] mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions". (Oliver Wendell Holmes - US author & physician (1809 - 1894)

Do you agree that Kseniya has forever shifted the way we see sand and challenged our assumptions of performing art?

Here is a brief description of this highly creative and innovative performance (source unknown):

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

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.

An art critic said:
"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

[some online sources have attributed this quote to Kseniya Simonova but I doubt that she would say "using sand and fingers is beyond me)