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Heliograffiti is a creative process used extensively by Ukrainian AiD artist Volodymyr Bakhtov to produce large scale three dimensional drawings/sculptures, in the darkness of night with fire torches and long exposure photography. All AiD: WV artists worked together to design a ‘light sculpture’ combining the Celtic oak and Slavic trident symbols of strength, power and wisdom.

Volodymyr advised and supported the process from exile in Germany. Heliograffiti requires a large, flat outdoor area with an over-looking high point. A sports field and pavilion were negotiated with Downside School, in Stratton-on-the-Fosse. The final design was accurately prepared to be scaled up outdoors, each of the eight lines of the drawing became a pathway for six artists + two supporters to walk carrying a light source, marked out within a 30m x 15m rectangle. A third supporter helped us to walk in time, Anna Kovalevska the project’s artist/photographer took long exposure photographs from the pavilion balcony and a fourth supporter/second photographer documented the marking out of the scaled-up design.

Volodymyr uses open flame to create his Heliograffiti however any light source is suitable. As the weather was inclement we resorted to our mobile phone torches to produce the first AiD large scale ‘light sculpture’.