Art which exists for a few moments

Most of us associate sand with relaxing at the seaside; for others, it’s a medium for creativity

By Dmitry Lugovoy

Children and, even, adults like to build castles in the sand. Some virtuosos can create true works of art from this fluid medium, although it’s impossible to hang them on walls. They draw on a specially illuminated sand table — a ‘sandbox’ — allowing their pictures to be photographed, then framed.

According to professional painter Alexandra Konofalskaya, sand shows are currently very popular, with works created in front of an audience. Each exists for just a few moments, however perfect. She explains, “The process is projected onto a big screen. For example, a stork might be flying with a bag, as parents hurry to meet it. A baby is born, grows and goes to school… Later a young person meets their beloved, marries and also becomes a parent. It takes around seven minutes to create such a plot, with performances often accompanied by a jazz band, a DJ, an orchestra, a solo performer, a choir, mime artists or a shadow show.”

Alexandra became keen on sand drawing just a few years ago, but has already managed to perform around the world, with trips to China and Morocco among the most exotic. In the Heavenly Empire, she took part in an advertising campaign for an automobile concern, and helped shoot a film at the Bollywood Movie Studio in Morocco. According to the script, the major character enjoyed sand drawing, so Ms. Konofalskaya was obliged to create her works of art. Her most unusual experience was taking part in a concert by Ennio Morricone, in Warsaw, entitled Dreams. She created dream sequences with Morricone on stage, using sand of course.

“My mission is to arouse emotions in my audiences. Sometimes, even adults begin to cry during my shows, tears streaming down their faces,” she notes.

According to Ms. Konofalskaya, artists should never make mistakes, since it’s very difficult to correct such defects. It’s easier to re-make a picture from sand than to adjust an error, but it tends to disappoint audiences. Accordingly, practice is needed. Of course, there’s always time for relaxation; Alexandra likes to go to the countryside with her dogs, Sara and Lada, and dreams of running a kennel.

“I’d like to use my art to awaken people to the plight of homeless animals,” she notes. “In future, I plan to make a touching social advertisement and would be happy if I could touch the hearts of just a few people.”

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