Tiling and mosaic traditions from around the world are truly fascinating to see. But despite being an extremely durable artform, sometimes they don’t last. In Ukraine there is currently a war between artists, home owners, and locals about the numerous Soviet-Era mosaics.
On public buildings throughout Ukraine there are large, impressive murals, a huge number of which were created in the 1960s. Although some depict Soviet themes, the individuality of many of the artists can be found laid amongst the tesserae. Mostly unnamed and unknown, the artists found a way to put forward their ideology within the confines of their project.
However, due to their relation to Soviet history, these mosaics have been largely neglected since the 1990s, with some sustaining huge amounts of damage from vandals. Many owners of the buildings on which they sit want them removed to eliminate any potential associations with propaganda.
But the artists are fighting back, seeing the value in these historical art pieces, and the people and time they represent. A large restoration project is underway with volunteers taking pains to replace missing mosaics and fix those that are broken.
Story inspired by an article from Radio Free Liberty Radio Europe found here.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2021.