Kiev can satisfy every visitor. Walking around the city, taking in the architecture without stepping inside a building can give you a sense of the place and the diverse history. From the golden domed monasteries and cathedrals to the statues on everyday buildings there is always something to observe, so look upwards as well as downwards as you mind your step on the uneven pavements. Then there is the art. You will not be able to see everything in a short stay so content yourself with a chosen couple of venues .We visited the Pinchuk Art Centre at Baseina Street,here:Pinchuk Art Centre which is free to enter. Until October 2013 a Chinese Installation Art exhibition is showing. The artists include Ai-Wei Wei, a film by Sun Xun, Zhang Huan and his pigs [yes, live pigs] in connection with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in which thousands of people died, a pig was found alive after 49 days, the Chinese believe that a soul lingers on earth for 49 days before transmigrating and so the pig has become a symbol of significance and a way to explore history,individuality and spirituality. Zhu Gangquang and Zhang's Ash on Linen collection. These were stunning, grey and black with particles of ash and paper combining to create images that emerged from the dust. For me, I was blown away by Cao Fel's Eyeliner collection, a simple concept with a brilliant execution, each item of clothing contained a story printed on what appeared to be the care instruction labels. I could write a whole blog on just this display, but my holiday notebook contains the detail and my excitement but I can still remember the feeling on discovering this work. It was a meltdown moment for me. I just love it when art provokes this kind of a response. It is worth a visit.
Then, a quick walk through Independence Square and the dandelion fountain, we passed the melancholic fairy having a reflective moment and pressed on to reach Kiev National Museum of Russian Art [entrance fee required] in Tereschenkivka Str. spending a few hours here admiring work by artists such as Viktor vasnetsov and his 'Three Princess's of the Underworld', Shishkin, Ivan Aivazovsky, Vrubel and Ilyya Repin and many more. I was overwhelmed , but also invigorated, there is so much to explore. Our minds were full of brilliance, fairy tales, revolution and landscapes of such clarity that we could have just stepped into them.
We needed a walk in the fresh air, also some of the museum does not have air-conditioning. After a condensed milk pancake or I could have chosen the cabbage and prune version, [I wonder why I didn't?] in the nearby park we strolled and look for other examples of public art.
In the park near the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev we admired these benches: .
We then walked to the Golden Gate of Kiev and on the way caressed the statue of Panteleiman the Persian Cat and made our wishes.
Just around the corner we found this creation made from disposable forks:
Elsewhere, another piece of street art:
We strolled along to Landscape Alley, also know as Peysazhna Alleia, not far from St Andrews Descent. This is a lovely park designed by Ukrainian artists and filled with unusual sculptures and benches, perfect for the inner child and a photo memory.
It had been a long day and as we wandered down St Andrew's Descent, past the House of Mikhail Bulgakov on our way to art of an edible kind at the Lviv handmade chocolate shop in the Podil area. I glanced up and saw this:
Art is everywhere in Kiev, for all tastes, so keep your eyes open and your camera ready.