Ukrainian sand animation artist Ksenya Simonova, who came to fame in her country via an American Idol styled TV show, has been taking her country by storm -- even moving people to tears -- with her unique handmade sand art, which she creates live as a kind of requiem to those who died during the Great Patriotic War. As in the video clip above, her real time public performances of sand animation are typically made up of Simonova swiftly hand crafting various war images, quickly morphing from one tragic image to the next, all to the accompaniment of a somber soundtrack of classical & traditional music plus soundbites of wartime news footage.
Working with a mixture of regular sea sand and volcanic sand, all spread out on a glass pane as canvas, Simonova uses her hands to craft her engaging moving stories. At the end of each dramatic live art performance consisting of tales of death and destruction she blows out a votive candle. Usually at this point audience members are seen tearing up. Surprisingly, Simonova, who is also a part time model, only took up the unusual art form (she is only one of a handful of such artists -- the others are from an older generation) just one year ago after becoming a victim of the credit crunch. Reportedly her next project will be a Michael Jackson themed live art installation piece.