An art installation at Burning Man 2019

Catharsis is an installation built in form of a butterfly painted in traditional folk Petrykivka style. The art project was initiated by Nova Ukraine volunteers and Ukrainian artists to bring Petrykivka into the modern day

Catharsis symbolizes that we all can change and reach our potential. Just like a butterfly that went through a long process of metamorphosis

Catharsis is also used in modern psychotherapy to describe the act of expressing, or more accurately, experiencing the deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which had originally been repressed or ignored, and had never been adequately addressed or experienced.

Aly Owens, the project lead, explains what Catharsis means
We all go through a metamorphosis as it is a part of life. It breaks us down, it changes us. If we learn our lessons we become just like butterflies – our beauty shines from inside out


"The idea of Catharsis was born just right after
Burning Man last year. I felt like I was reborn. I was sharing my fresh impressions with the friends in Seattle, when we had a thought why not to show those metamorphoses. So the idea of a butterfly was born. Later on, we found out that the art theme of Burning Man 2019 was 'Metamorphoses' as well. That was a sign and we started developing our concept" - shared Aly Owens, the project lead.
Burning Man is an annual gathering of people inspired by the values reflected in the Ten Principles and united in the pursuit of a more creative and connected existence in the world. It is a week-long experiment in the temporary Black Rock City to nurture the distinctive culture emerging from that experience. Learn more on the official site.
Art Installation
The butterfly core structure is 3m high built from metal. We cut out the wings from wood.

We cover the frame outline with LED stripes. Our engineer is developing a custom software specifically for the installation to create colorful animataions along the whole butterfly frame.

Our butterfly also has a human heart 3D-printed and placed just in the center of its body.
The human heart in the centre is a reference to Franz Kafka's novella 'Metamorphosis' - the art theme of Burning Man 2019 - dedicated to transformative experience at the personal level

Catharsis is one of those transformations. It implies a release of emotions that result in psychological renew and restoration. This allows individuals to re-consider their own story in a new way
Work In Process
We build as much as possible outside the Playa so that we can easily transport it. The frame, painting, and wiring - we're working on all that in our garage in Seattle.
Why Petrykivka?
Petrykivka is a traditional Ukrainian painting technique. In old times, people from Central Ukraine used to decorate their houses with birds and flowers in Petrykivka design. Ukrainians believed that these paintings would bring positive energy into their houses and will protect from the evil. It was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.

We want to bring Ukrainian traditional folk art back to the modern day. Which is why Marina Malyarenko, an artist from Catharsis team, created a unique design of patterns in Petrykivka style to decorate the wings of the butterfly.

... and to make it brigt in the night
we use fluorescent acrylic paint for the wings
What we're fundraising for
Butterfly Frame, $1200 ✔️
Frame bars, truss and long stiffeners, plates, square steel tube and steel flat bars
Wings Painting, $1000 ✔️
Core wood board (core of the wings) and fluorescent glow painting
Lighting, $2100 ✔️
UV and RGB LED strip, power supply, wiring, animation controllers and generator
Transportation, $1700 ✔️
Van to transport the installation from Seatle to the Black Rock Desert and back
Burning Man 🔥
Aug 25 - Sep 2, 2019
It's a unique opportunity to speak out loudly about Ukrainian modern art on the global scale
Our Team
We're 10 Ukrainians distributed all over the world: from Seattle and Los Angeles (USA) to Lviv (Ukraine) and Bangkok (Thailand) with one common thing - we all deeply love Ukrainian art and Burning Man
Aly Owens
Project lead
Mark Trembach
Lead architect
Marina Malyarenko
Oleksy Ohurtsov
Photographer and movie director
Vitaliy Zasadnyy
Lighting control engineer
Yuliana Oselska
Marketing & PR
Oleh Zasadnyy
Graphic designer & Party maker
Max Titov
Fundraising & RV Logistics
Mariya Velychko
Nutritionist & Chef
Oksana Georgiu
on Playa coordinator
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Outrageous Art Installations of Burning Man 2019
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