Uralkali Sponsors Sculpture Festival

03.07.2012
Uralkali Sponsors Sculpture Festival

Uralkali was general sponsor of “Perm Sea”, the first International Festival of Sylvinite and Metal Sculptures, held in Berezniki in June. 10 artists were selected to participate in the Festival: Joseph Ray Autry (USA), Lawrence Macfarlane (Canada), Agnece Rudzite (Latvia), Vyacheslav Baryshnikov (Ukraine) and Russian sculptors Alexei Tatarinov, Ingrid Struenze, Ivan Loktukhin, Alexander Savinov, Alexander Parfenov and Andrei Barakhvostov became the winners of elimination round.

Sylvinite is one of basic minerals found in the Upper Kama (Verkhnekamskoye) salt deposit, mostly consisting of potassium, magnesium and sodium salt crystals. Sylvinite ore is the basic raw material used to produce potash fertilisers. The mineral was generated about 250 million years ago due to sea evaporation during the Permian geologic period. This is the first time that sylvinite ore has been used for art works. The sculptors have previously made art works using traditional materials, as well as ice, snow and sand.

As general sponsor, Uralkali provided the participants with solid blocks of sylvinite. Seventeen blocks were cut to size underground by the Ural-50 mining machine, and delivered to the surface from the 400m deep Solikamsk-3 mine.

“The Festival is a unique cultural event for the Perm region and beyond. We believe that this project could be the catalyst for the Perm region and Upper Kama area to strengthen relations with other regions and countries,” said Andrei Musikhin, Uralkali’s Manager for Regional Development.

The artists developed a varied range of images in their sculptures. Ukrainian artist Vyacheslav Baryshnikov depicted a tambourine-playing shaman sitting on an ancient snail. Joseph Ray Autry (USA) cut fantastic sylvinite marine flowers. Lawrence Macfarlane (Canada) made his art work object a trilobite, an extinct marine arthropod that lived on Earth 570 million years ago and remains an enigma for paleontologists.

Overall, using sylvinite as a medium for art was warmly received by the sculptors.

“Sylvinite is softer than marble and more malleable, so it’s easier to cut figures and it takes less time – what takes half a year with marble, you can achieve in a week with sylvinite,” said Alexander Savinov, a sculptor from Yekaterinburg.

The sylvinite art works will be located in public areas in Berezniki. It is hoped the Festival will become a regular event

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Smoking in mines is prohibited.
Work at heights without wearing a safety harness is prohibited.
Work in electrical installations under voltage is prohibited.
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