For Art United Us
The inspiration for the river as a metaphor comes from a story from Gautama Buddha: The story goes like this; if a stick falls into the river, the flow of the river will take the stick downstream and eventually the stick will be connected with the endless ocean, this is the law of nature, nature only goes one direction. If the stick can avoid sandbanks and being caught up in the reeds it will reach the endless ocean.
When we go with and are aware of the flow of nature we can experience the interconnectedness of everything.
This mural was the result of several conversations with local curators. Things just fell into place and the final result is a very simple artwork layered with symbolism.
The water symbolizes the Dnipro River as a source of life that runs through Ukraine like a bloodline to the Black Sea
I have used the famous statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky only to remove him from the horse and change the direction of the horse from facing north (Russia) to now face away to the south. I have done this to edit and remix history to show that everything changes and is out of our control. We build statues to celebrate our history but our history along with our statues will only just fade away with time, with the cycle of nature.
The gold square in the mural even though the most striking and seemingly powerful will be the first of the colours to go when the mural begins to fade in a few years.
I make use of squares because there is nothing geometric in nature; we create boxes to try compartmentalize everything giving us the illusion of control.

The mural is also homage to an iconic painting by Ukrainian artist Kazimir Malevich’s - The Black Square.
The work is frequently invoked as the “zero point“ of painting referring to the painting’s historical significance.
Malevich says; “It is from zero that the true movement of being begins.
Black Square is meant to evoke the experience of pure non-objectivity in the white emptiness of a liberated nothing.”

And finally the title of the work is homage to Ukrainian Poet Taras Shevchenko poem “A reflection”. Shevchenko says in the opening line ; “The river empties to the sea, But out it never flows”

When I first started the mural and all that was visible on the wall was the appearance of a black horse, a local elderly woman approached me with anger in her voice, pleading for me to make the mural colourful. I expressed to her with the help of translation that the meaning of the mural is the colour and the beauty. Pointing to my heart and opening my hand out to her and everyone else around I expressed that I want her to see the beauty, and that my intention is to share beauty with her and everyone around. This made her happy and throughout the days she brought me sweets and tea. And on the day before completing she brought me a traditional Pysanky egg on a necklace.
The egg is said to represent the original source of creation! The Universe! The symbol of life, completeness, continuity and the cyclical nature of the universe
In the folk life of Ukrainian people, the pysanka which is dated back to 1300 years BC possess talismanic powers. Receipt of a pysanka is not only a token of friendship or esteem but also brings with it protection from harm.
The sense of mystery is inherent because each pysanka involves a trinity of symbolisms: the symbolism of the egg itself, the symbolism of design, and the symbolism of color.
I couldn’t hope for a more fitting gift for the mural.
I will cherish this gift and the experience for life
Thank you to everyone I met and helped me along the way.

Special thanks to Artunitedus, Geo Leros , Waone Interesni Kazki and Iryna Kanishcheva and the help of the Art ego gallery.

“How can one prevent a drop of water from drying up?
By throwing it into the ocean.”
Gautama Buddha

May all beings be happy and may all be free from suffering.