With bronze, glass and a neighbourhood park as his tools, Ukrainian artist Nazar Bilyk created what must be one of the most touching and humane pieces of public art to ever be debuted. Entitled Rain, the 6-foot tall sculpture portrays a figure, naked but for a huge raindrop suspended across the face, looking skyward.
Though impetus for the sculpture originally stemmed from humankind’s delicate relationship with the environment, Bilyk explained to design blog My Modern Met that there in fact are many ways to read his work.
“The name of the work is ‘Rain,’ which seems…obvious at first glance. However, it is quite broad and has several meanings. Chiefly, it is dedicated to the inner dialogue…it expresses interrogation of a man in search of senses, unanswered lifetime questions. That’s why the man is holding his head up.
The raindrop is a symbol of the dialogue which connects a man with a whole diversity of life forms. The figure has a loose and porous structure and relates to dry land, which absorbs water. In this work I play with scale, making a raindrop large enough to compare a man with an insect, considering that man is a part of nature.”
Acknowledging the autobiographical nature of the sculpture, Bilyk said that fundamental to the creation of Rain was his continued exploration of how his senses provoke reaction to his surroundings. Viewed up close, the figure provokes the viewer to look up in anticipation of additional raindrops with the same sense of foreboding evoked by the sculpture.
Rain is currently on view in Peysazhna Alley (Landscape Alley) at the Kiev Fashion Park. Opened in May 2011, the sculpture park includes 17 artworks created exclusively by modern Ukrainian artists. The attraction has been referred to as one of the most popular walking routes of both the citizens and tourists of Kiev.
See more of Bilyk’s work at his website here.