Ukraine:
Breadbasket of Europe

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine.

 

To date, tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives and over 13 million Ukrainians have been displaced. By the end of 2022, Russia's war against Ukraine will have cost the global economy $2.8 trillion. 

 

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is still threatened. More than 20,000 tons of wheat have been destroyed; 25 million tons blockaded; 600,000 tons stolen; and 30% of farmland made uncultivable.

 

Zhyttya in Ukranian means life. Wheat is the basic foodstuff synonymous with life. Ukraine and Russia together supply between a quarter and a third of the world's wheat. Despite efforts to end the Odessa blockade, the UN estimates that as many as 50 million people in 45 countries are still on the brink of famine.

 

In ancient times, in the most climactic moment of the Eleusinian mysteries, a single grain of wheat was displayed for contemplation in complete silence before it was planted/ buried. Referencing Demeter and Persephone, the eternal cycle of the seasons, similar imagery undergirds the Christian Eucharist.

 

In this sculpture, stalks of golden wheat sprout from a white nesting column, decorated with carvings of acanthus leaves, which Vitruvius posited as having grown up around a basket placed on Persephone's grave. Much like kudzu in our area, acanthus refuses to die. It returns every spring with a vengeance.

 

Can we hope that Demeter will be reunited with her daughter in the breadbasket of Europe?

Zhyttya

Zhyttya

Form Z marbelized plaster, Fiberglas resin, marble chips, wheatberries, wheat shafts, 72"h x 26"d ©2022

Zhyttya (detail)

Zhyttya (detail)

Form Z marbelized plaster, Fiberglas resin, marble chips, wheatberries, wheat shafts, 72"h x 26"d ©2022