Central Prague street has a ghostly new resident

Vinok, created by Czech artist Veronika Psotková and floating above Prague's Dlouhá street, is dedicated to all mothers affected by the war in Ukraine.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 09.07.2022 13:25:00 (updated on 10.07.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A ghostly new piece of street art is now floating above Prague's Dlouhá street outside of the Czech capital's popular Roxy music club and NoD art gallery. Created by local artist Veronika Psotková, the new piece is dedicated to all mothers who suffer consequences of the war for Ukraine.

Named Vinok, after the traditional Ukrainian headdress which it bears, the new piece created out of galvanized chin-link wire mesh will be hovering above Dlouhá street throughout the summer months.

"Vinok is a traditional Ukrainian headdress," Psotková describes on her Facebook page.

"The custom of weaving decorative wreaths dates back to pagan times. They had a magical meaning as an attribute of spring and bathing festivals. Gradually, the vinok became a symbol of worship, a symbol of Mother Earth."

"The Ukrainian vinok has since become a cultural symbol of the Ukrainian nation. Its popularity has increased in contemporary Ukraine after the events of 2014."

The new piece is hanging from wires in a highly-visible space for public art that has been utilized for social and political issues. A large net collecting plastic waste had memorably adorned the location in past years.

"[Vinok] is dedicated to all mothers in the war for Ukraine," Psotková writes on Facebook.

"For me, the mothers in the war for Ukraine are, of course, primarily Ukrainian women, but also Russian women who live in a lie with the idea of ​​how their sons die heroically, and also all mothers who are already touched by the war or will be touched by its consequences." 

Artwork hanging above the city center streets has a long tradition in the Czech capital.

David Černý's Man Hanging Out depicts a sculpture of Sigmund Freud hanging from a pole off of a building on Old Town's Husova street, while Slight Uncertainty by Michal Trpák features figures dangling from umbrellas in various locations in the city.

According to Psotková, Vinok will be hanging out above Dlouhá throughout the summer months, and possibly through the end of September. Given its vaguely ominous presence, it might make a good fit to stick around through Halloween.

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