Ukraine’s 30th independence day – Kiev

The Show Must Go On!

What happens when a country decides to quarantine all travellers, just before you are set to travel there to oversee a major balloon installation? Of course, with true Gemar spirit, you find a way to make things work!

That’s exactly what Irina Gvozdenko had to do when Ukraine implemented a two week quarantine policy last August. She had tickets booked to fly to Kiev to create a stunning installation in a shopping center, for Ukraine’s 30th independence day celebrations. The balloons had arrived, the plans had been carefully drawn up and a team of 22 balloon artists were standing by, but it was impossible for Irina to join them!

Instead, Irina had no option but to improvise and get online. She was able to oversee the entire project via video link, answering questions and giving guidance. In fact, Irina was with the team for every moment of the build!

The result was stunning, nobody could ever guess that things didn’t go entirely to plan. The theme was “the love of Ukraine in every heart”, and that certainly shone through. Everything was designed to reflect traditional Ukrainian art, with bright colours and a theme of wheat ears and wild flowers.

Everyone who saw the display loved it, stopping to admire the intricate work that captured every detail of a heart made from golden wheat, soaring far above them. The bright poppies, blue cornflowers and beautiful daisies added a splash of colour that brought a smile to every face.

It was such a success that perhaps Irina would consider being a virtual organiser again? The answer to that is a resounding no! She much prefers being hands on and in person, but when you have no choice you have to improvise and we are very lucky to have both the technology and the talent to make it work.