Repairing the Irreparable
Empathy with Ukraine

Muisti Centre of War and Peace, Mikkeli, Finland

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This project was born under the influence of news from the war in Ukraine. Photographs of the horrors of war remind us of how gentle, fragile and vulnerable people's lives are. A sweet home can turn into ruins in an instant. Human life, plans, dreams and wishes can be smashed, crashed, and shattered to pieces.

I have built human figures from porcelain, ceramic and glass shards. In some sense, it is a hopeless and even futile attempt to repair, improve, and restore what has been ruined, entirely broken and destroyed. This attempt has produced life-size hollow heads, torsos, busts and hands. The viewer might wonder how the fragments hold together. Objects consist as much of fragments as of seams between them, holes, gaps, emptiness and hollowness. When a flame burns inside the characters, and Anton Webern's music plays in the background, the impression becomes even more powerful.

The second part of the project shows the city's destroyed but rebuilt houses: apartment buildings, towers, halls, and churches. Various roof shapes built from fragments form the skyline of the reborn city.

Figures began to emerge from shards at the beginning of the war. The work has been very demanding, laborious and slow. The works are actually more robust than they look, and special transportation boxes are also made for them to guarantee safe shipping.

Photos: Uzi Varon