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Sphere of Good and of Spiritual Renaissance

The project, Spheres of Good and Spiritual Renaissance, by Ukrainian artist Oksana Mas is simple but unique, and embodies universal elements that transcend cultural boundaries. Mas considers the sphere to be the most perfect geometrical form – representative of our planet, egg cells, and other fundamental natural structures. In her artworks, the sphere is conceived as a three-dimensional figure passing through one-dimensional spaces such as walls, ceilings, or floors.

Mas’s spheres are complex constructions made up of thousands of wooden hand-painted Easter eggs. In an ingenious fashion, the artist creates a design in which each egg is a component within a larger, global image. The result is a monumental artwork that pays homage to folk handicraft and graphic art while utilizing Ukrainian national traditions and sacred motifs. The artist recognizes that for many cultures the egg has been perceived as a strong energy symbol that embodies the essence of life. By employing such imagery, and recognizing its universal origins, she assures that her works can be appreciated and understood by people of different cultures and religions. Individual eggs are made of beech wood, boiled in oil, and painted by 70 people from different walks of life. The painters follow the artist’s sketches and only children are allowed to paint motifs of their own invention. After it has been decorated, each egg is coated with two layers of varnish to protect it from water and sunlight. The resulting sphere, made up of thousands of eggs, can be exhibited in any environment.

Oksana Mas conceives every egg as a piece of art and a symbol of energy and spirituality. When placed together in a large sphere, the overall artwork gains exponentially in power and meaning. Mas envisions her spheres as international symbols uniting audiences around the world.

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Look into Eternity

Look into Eternity is the first work in Oksana Mas’s effort to revive spirituality in the contemporary world. She found her inspiration for this mosaic in an icon by the famous 17th century Ukrainian painter Ivan Rutkovich. According to Mas, “my idea was to portray the gaze of the Mother of God – her ‘eye’ on humanity – across the millennia. I searched for this expression in the faces of Renaissance madonnas and paintings by contemporary artists and finally found it in a book of ancient Ukrainian icons.”

It took almost nine months for the artist to create the resulting mosaic. The composition consists of 54 panels on which over 15,000 hand-painted wooden Easter eggs create the gaze of the Mother of God. About 70 craftsmen from around Ukraine, professionals, amateurs, and even children, painted the eggs with symbolic motifs. The surface of the panel on which the eggs are attached is lined with gold leaf. Because of this treatment, an impression is achieved whereby the eggs appear to be floating in the air. The panel actually weighs around 2.5 tons. The podium in which viewers see the reflection of the mosaic also emphasizes its infinity, lightness, and eternal qualities. The completed artwork was presented as a gift to the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv and remains on permanent view.