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'Nadiya' Pysanka Egg sculpture, Eurovision, Liverpool

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Location: Liverpool One, 2023. Eurovision Song Contest #EuroLearn

mrasingh with eurovision egg sculpture in liverpool

Giant eggs designed by children from across the Liverpool City Region and the Ukrainian community were on display in Liverpool over Easter and for Eurovision.

Inspired by the Ukrainian and Eastern European tradition of egg painting, Pysanka Eggs is a partnership between Liverpool City Council and Liverpool ONE. The designs reflected Ukrainian culture and traditions, those of the other competing Eurovision countries and the wider Liverpool City Region communities, and the exhibition was on display in the shopping district Liverpool ONE

The process: Working with local schools

Pupils from St Paul and St Timothy’s Catholic Infant School in West Derby and Anfield Road Primary worked with visual artist MrASingh to design the Liverpool egg called Nadiya [pronounced na-dee-ya] as part of the Pysanka Egg Display.

"Part of this exciting Eurovision commission was to produce a series of workshops for local primary schools as part of the educational programme, #EuroLearn. The two schools I worked with were Anfield Road Primary and St Paul & St Timothy's Catholic Infant School where I delivered aspirational assemblies and 4 workshops to around 70 children.

It was amazing to see the excitement and free-flow creativity from the children and all the brilliant questions! Plus they loved the egg colouring page I designed for them! A big passion of mine is skills sharing and inspiring the next generation, so this was really rewarding."

"I really liked doing the project. I liked how our designs contributed to the final egg design. I’m very excited and proud that everyone will get to see the egg and that I was a part of it, as not many people got chosen to be a part of the project. The thing that surprised me the most about the egg was the size of it – I didn’t think it would be that big.
The pattern was detailed and I liked that the artist was able to describe why he did certain things. I loved working with the artist, MrASingh because I got to work with someone who was talented at what they do."

- Jessica Barnes, Year 6 pupil from Anfield Primary School

photo with mrasingh the artist and school children from anfield road primary school

The process: Creating the egg sculpture

mrasingh with the blank egg sculpture

I always incorporate culture into my art but I’d never delved into Ukrainian culture before. The project is inspired by the traditional art of pysanka egg decoration, but it was massively important that my design reflected Ukrainian culture, as well as drawing inspiration from the children themselves.

I didn’t just want to produce something pretty. As an artist I feel like it’s important to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and feel what they’re feeling. When I put myself in the shoes of somebody from Ukrainian, I feel pride, respect and hope and that was what I wanted to envision onto the egg, which I’ve named Nadiya, meaning hope in Ukrainian.

mrasingh painting the egg sculpture in blue

When people look at the egg, I want them to feel respect for a community, respect for what the people of Ukraine are going through and respect for their endurance and hope. A lot of my work is inspired by colour, culture and patterning. When I did research I learnt that each colour has a different meaning in Ukrainian culture.

The sculpture was painted at Make CIC where I spent hours working on it with the help of school children. The egg's surface is painted in shades of yellow and metallic gold, which symbolises light, purity, and strength. This represents the resilience of our Ukrainian friends and the light at the end of the tunnel for those who live in hope for the conflict to be over, as well as the purity of the children who helped design the egg.

mrasingh adding finishing touches to the egg sculpture

In Ukrainian culture, blue represents knowledge and wisdom, which really chimes with the EuroLearn project. The Eurovision Song Contest was originally conceived through a desire to unite European countries following World War II but has taken on even greater significance this year with the conflict in Ukraine. Projects like EuroLearn are teaching the next generation about other communities and how to co-exist better. The conflict started because two countries can’t co-exist together so if there’s one thing we should all take away from this is how can we increase our empathy and try and be more proactive in learning about other cultures.

Geometric shapes such as the eight-pointed star feature strongly on my design because they symbolic in Ukrainian culture, representing life, family and well-being. Ultimately, the sculpture stands tall and proud, an enduring symbol of Ukrainian heritage and tradition, exuding a sense of respect and hope.

"It is amazing to be part of something which feels revolutionary. This is the first time a host city has ever produced a learning and engagement programme alongside the Eurovision Song Contest and it’s a game-changer. This is how it should be done in the future."

- MrASingh

The press launch

The #EuroLearn ‘Pysanka Egg Display’ press launch was at Liverpool ONE and it was awesome to see all 7 sculptures unveiled together and meet fellow artists, the local media and partners.

The public's reaction

I was blown away by the reaction from the public. So many people, including many of the children from the schools went to see the sculpture and share photographs across social media. Here are some of my favourites.

The final sculpture

The project was part of EuroLearn, made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund with additional support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Spirit of 2012.

people sitting around mrasingh's eurovision egg sculpture in liverpool one


Name: Nadiyah

Location: Liverpool One, 5 Wall St, Liverpool L1 8JQ

Client: Culture Liverpool and Liverpool City Council

Materials - Fiberglass sculpture. Acrylic paint, metallic, glitter and spray paint

Related hashtags: #Eurolearn


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