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Under the Sky During Spring 2023

Kyiv, Ukraine, April 2023

Maria Kulikovska & Oleh Vinnichenko, "Under the Sky During Spring 2023", cast from Maria's body, epoxy resin, LxWxH: 310x470x2050 mm, 2023
The sculpture was created in the Kyiv studio Garage33.Gallery-Shelter during Maria's short visit with her child in Kyiv in April 2023, a year after Maria Kulikovska and six-month-old Eva were forced to leave Kyiv due to shelling.

Soon after, Maria and her child left the country again, and the sculpture was completed independently by Oleh Vinnichenko.

"Under the Spring Sky 2023" is an allegory depicting the union and separation, the constant threat hanging over us, and the longing for home.
"Do you hear, it seems like the siren again?
And explosions?
Yes... let's go to sleep.

Today, just like yesterday, like all these days, I slept very soundly.
More soundly than anywhere in the past year.
It's been a year since we left, and a year later, returned.
It's hard not to sleep for a whole year where there are no explosions and air raid alarms.
And here, it's easier for me.
Because I'm home.
I'm where everything is mine, and I won't give it to anyone.

Still, there's something in the air that I can't explain.
In the supermarket near our house, soldiers are in line.
I explain to the child that thanks to them, we can sleep.
She's little, just a year and a half, and she silently stares at the dirty-green streaks on their camouflage and stays silent.
At home, I ask her, 'Eva, do you like it here in Kyiv?'
She joyfully shouts, 'Yes!!!'
And nods her head in affirmation.

It's hard to leave again, I don't want to, I'm tired.
No sleep again?
But there's something heavy in the air, between the lines.
Everything seems like it was before, but not quite the same.
And I seem to be the same, but entirely different.
The dirty-green camouflage has embedded itself under the skin forever during yet another endlessly short spring."

— Maria Kulikovska