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On her way to school and back the child used doodling on sand; her day’s story; her many moments of agonies and ecstasies; even her fantasies. She needed to complete it quickly in an attempt to beat the next large wave that would wash away half of the entries that she made on her personal journal. The girl from Israel who grew up along the coastline of Mediterranean, Ilana Yahav, was keenly aware of the transience of time from then on.

For greater part of next two and half decades Ilana was busy painting, sculpting, embroidering, creating paper sculptures including floral origami like presentations with napkins. She even created puppets or grotesque figures of latex for special effect projects assisting in various movie or advertising film productions. She designed and modelled puppets for a political satire program on Israeli television based on British television show, ‘Spitting Image’.

 

Ilana, however, never truly forgot that every grain of sand holds in it a thousand stories of earth. It was her destiny to set those memories of mother earth free. With this vision in mind Ilana started perfecting the craft of sand art animation.

Sand art animation is more a performance than a static image, frozen in time. The artist compares her art with a well choreographed dance performance, a ‘zero’ margin for error. It requires tremendous amount of concentration and connecting to the audience’s emotions. Every show preludes days of training and thorough illustration to find a story that would befit the mood.

 

Today Ilana’s art is celebrated and appreciated worldwide by the royalties and ordinary people alike. The web world and sites like youtube.com facilitated exhibition of her sand art shows across the globe.
Every person that the artist happens to meet on the street becomes a possible source of inspiration for Ilana. In her own words, ‘Even when I walk on the street without talking to people, even when I look at them, I get ideas and inspiration.’

It is evident that Ilana loves studying characters and visiting places. Italy with its people, food and atmosphere, ‘ripened in gauze of sweet gardens and the town ached beneath a canopy of promissory fragrance,’ gets a special mention. In her free time she loves going through the pages of ‘The Prince of Tides’.

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