Catharsis Art Installation

We're 11 Ukrainians distributed all over the world: five in Seattle (USA), three in Lviv (Ukraine), two in Bangkok (Thailand), and one in Los Angeles (USA) but there is one thing we have in common - we all deeply love Ukrainian art and Burning Man.

We're 11 Ukrainians distributed all over the world: five in Seattle (USA), three in Lviv (Ukraine), two in Bangkok (Thailand), and one in Los Angeles (USA) with one common thing - we all deeply love Ukrainian art and Burning Man.

We're building Catharsis, an art installation in the form of a butterfly painted in Ukrainian traditional Petrykivka style. We'll bring Catharsis to Burning Man in August 2019 to present Ukrainian modern art on a global scale.

Supported by Nova Ukraine, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about Ukraine in the US, we've been working on our project since September 2018 right after some of us came back from the last year's Burning Man festival.

"The idea of our project was born just right I came back from Burning Mna last year. Once in September, I invited my friends in Seattle to share my fresh impressions from the festival that inspired me so much. I felt like I was reborn. Together with Marina and Lyosha, we thought, it'd be so cool to show somehow those metamorphoses. So the idea of a butterfly was born. Later on, we found out that the theme of Burning Man was 'Metamorphoses'. That was a sign and we started developing our concept" - shared Aly Owens, the project lead.

What is Burning Man?

Burning Man is an annual gathering of people inspired by the values reflected in the Ten Principles  and united in the pursuit of a more creative and connected existence in the world. It is a week-long experiment in the temporary Black Rock City to nurture the distinctive culture emerging from that experience. Learn more on the official site.

What does Catharsis mean?
Catharsis is all about releasing emotions that we hold inside. We get them stored due to our past experiences. Releasing those emotions allows us to open up and build a new self. Our installation is all about this cleanse and rebirth.

In times when separation becomes a norm when male and female roles are being reviewed and debated over, we bring the catharsis - the journey of a butterfly who went through all the stages of change to shine its true colors - vibrant and strong, sensitive and soft.

The butterfly represents all of us, as life is about continuous transition and change. We all face challenges, different stages, and opportunities for growth. These experiences make us who we are.

Why Petrykivka?
Petrykivka is a traditional Ukrainian painting technique. In old times, people from Central Ukraine used to decorate their houses with birds and flowers in Petrykivka design. Ukrainians believed that these paintings would bring positive energy into their houses and will protect from the evil. It was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.

We want to bring Ukrainian traditional folk art back to the modern-day. Which is why Marina Malyarenko, an artist from Catharsis team, created a unique design of patterns in Petrykivka style to decorate the wings of the butterfly.

We build as much as possible outside the Playa so that we can easily transport it. The frame, painting, and wiring - we're working on all that in our garage in Seattle.

The butterfly core structure is 3m high and built from metal, while the wings — from wood. Our butterfly also has a human heart printed in 3D and placed just in the center of its body.


We use fluorescent acrylic paint for the wings and the black light to make it bright in the night.


We cover the frame outline with LED stripes. Our engineer is developing a custom software specifically for the installation to create colorful animations along the whole butterfly frame. This will attract the participants of the festival even 100-200 m far away from the installation on the playa.

Building Cost
The total budget is estimated to be 6,000$.

$1200 - Butterfly Frame. Frame bars, truss and long stiffeners, plates, square steel tube and steel flat bars

$1000 - Wings Painting. Core wood board (the core of the wings) and fluorescent glow painting

$2100 - Lighting. UV and RGB LED strip, power supply, wiring, animation controllers and generator

$1700 - Transportation. Van from Seatle to the Black Rock City and back

Why Support Catharsis?

It's a unique opportunity to speak out loudly about Ukrainian modern art on a global scale.

Forbes already featured Catharsis as one of the ‘Outrageous Art Installations’ at this years Burning Man 2019. We want even more people to learn about beautiful Pertykivka style and be touched by Ukrainian traditional folk art. Which is why we have to build Catharsis art installation in time and bring it to 70,000 participants from all over the world at Burning Man.

Through art and creativity, we build a positive image of Ukraine on the international level. A strong brand identity is extremely important in the transformation age that our country is facing now.



Thanks in advance for your contribution to this art project! 

For more information and updates, please, follow us here:

Facebook Page




 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 18 mos
  • Vlad Sg 
    • $100 
    • 18 mos
  • Tania Gayovich 
    • $20 
    • 18 mos
  • Ярослав Марухно 
    • $30 
    • 18 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 18 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Catharsis (3)

Olena Owens 
Raised $1,850 from 6 donations
Seattle, WA
Nova Ukraine 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Learn more
Yuliana Oselska 
Team member
Raised $715 from 5 donations
Vitaliy Zasadnyy 
Team member
Raised $215 from 9 donations
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more