SHARMANKA (Russian word for “Barrel-Organ”) is a collaboration between sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky, theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya, and light and sound designer Sergey Jakovsky.


Eduard Bersudsky (b. 1939, St.Petersburg, Russia - then Leningrad, USSR) is a self-taught visionary artist. He started carving in his late 20-s, while making a modest living as a metal worker, electrician, skipper on the barge, night guard and a boiler man, and got his education in museums, libraries, exhibitions, and evening classes for drawing and sculpture.


In 1974-80 Bersudsky took part in some exhibitions of “non-conformist art” - a movement of artists who wanted to avoid the control of the official Soviet ideology.


In 1974 he found a job in the park department to carve giant figures out of fallen trees for children playgrounds. At the same time in his only room in a communal flat he began producing the kinemats - kinetic sculptures driven by electrical motors and controlled by sophisticated electro mechanical devices, incorporating pieces of old furniture, metal scrap and grotesque carved figures. Until 1989 his kinemats could be seen only by few friends and acquaintances.


In 1988 his met Tatyana Jakovskaya (b.1947), a theatre critic and director. Together they founded Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre (opened in St.Petersburg in 1990). A mechanical movement of kinemats has been supported with music, light and shadow play. The third member of team – Sergey Jakovsky (born 1980) – joined Sharmanka at the age of 13 and gradually became responsible for light/sound design as well as technical management.


In 1993 Sharmanka was driven out of Russia by economical depression and lack of support for art. At this time Glasgow Museums bought some of its exhibits for Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art and invited it to make a personal show at McLellan Galleries.


In 1996 Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery/Workshop has been opened in Glasgow Merchant City.


In 1999 Sharmanka (in co-operation with Tim Stead and Annica Sandstrom) was awarded The Millennium Festival Grant to build The Millennium Clock at Royal Museum in Edinburgh (now at the collection of the National Museums of Scotland)


In 2002 Sergey Jakovsky received BA in technical theatre from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since then he has built his own artistic reputation as theatre lighting designer working with numerous companies in Scotland and beyond. Sergey has also become the lighting and sound designer for all of Sharmanka’s new work and technical manager for exhibitions and theatrical collaborations. www.sergeyjakovsky.com


In 2005 Eduard Bersudsky received “Creative Scotland Award”


In 2006 the block of building, housing Sharmanka and other art organisations was closed for renovation. It was reopen in  2009 as art and creativity centre “Trongate103”


Performances of kinetic sculptures are attended by thousands visitors every year. Among them – tourists from all over the world, families, school groups, students, SEN groups etc. At the same time Sharmanka undertakes commissions and numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally


Friends of Sharmanka is a charity, registered in Scotland SC023931. Its activities have been supported by grants of Glasgow City Council, The Scottish Arts Council, Awards for All, Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust, The Foundation for Sport and Arts and private donations.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2012 - “The Great Magical Machine Show” - Museum Eretz Israel, Tel-Aviv, Israel

2005 “Movement and Shadows. Magic of Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre”, National  Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

2002 “Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre”, Theatre Museum, London

2002 “Sharmanka Kinetic Sculptures”, Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem

1999 “Sharmanka Theatre”, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

1994 “Sharmanka. The Amazing World of Eduard Bersudsky’s Mechanical Sculptures" - solo exhibition, City Art Galleries, Manchester

1994 “Sharmanka. Russian Street Organ Theatre" - McLellan Galleries, Glasgow



TOURING SETS


“Sharmanka Travelling Circus”

2012 – St Enoch Shopping Centre, Glasgow, Scotland

2011 – Drumchapel Shopping Centre, Glasgow, Scotland

2010 Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Scotland

2009 Howden Park Centre, Livingston, Scotland

2008 Cleethorpes Discovery Centre, England

2008 Gloucester Museum, England

2007 Radiance and Winter Lights festivals, Glasgow (in the vacant shop windows)

2007 An Tobar, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

2007 Croydon  Museum, England

2006 Iona Gallery, Kinguissie, Scotland

2006 Thurso Library, Thurso, Scotland

2006 Inverness Gallery and Museum, Scotland

2006 Falkirk Museum, Scotland

2005 An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland


“Gothic Kinetic”

2010 - An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland


“Sharmanka Travelling Circus” + “Gothic Kinetic”

2010 Eretz Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv, Israel

2009 Granada Science Park, Granada, Spain

2009 “Lille 3000”, Lille, France

2009 “Les Folies”, Maubeuge, France,

2009 Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, England


MAIN GROUP  EXHIBITIONS 

2008  PhantasieMechanik – Phaeno, Wolfsburg, Germany

2004  Independent Art Festival -  Manezh, St.Petersburg

1999  Kabinet des Mechaniken- Technorama Switzerland, Winterthur, Switzerland

1996  Det Legende Menneske - “Experimentarium”, Copenhagen, Denmark.

1993  Topos –  Grassi Museum, Leipzig, Germany.



THEATRE  FESTIVALS

2009 London International Mime Festival – “Gothic Circus”@ Shunt Vaults

2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival – “Wheels of Life”,

2002 London International Mime Festival -  “Noah’s Ark” @The Royal National Theatre

1998 "Moving on 98,” Music Festival, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

1996 “Puppets and Performing Objects in the 20th century" - Lincoln Centre, Library for Performing Arts, New York, USA

1993 "Poppen & Muziek”, Neerpelt, Belgium

1991 "Ontpoppen & Verbeelden" - Museum “From Music Clock to Street-Organ,” Utrecht, Netherlands


COMMISSIONS

Kopernik Science Museum, Warsaw, Poland

              “Leonardo-2”,  2010

Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock

  “The Gloveman” 2009

An Tobar Art Centre , Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

“Colmcille”, 2007

Callender House, Falkirk Museums, Scotland

“Rusty, the Magician, 2007

Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

            “The Flight”, 2004

Tron Steeple, Glasgow 

“St.Mungo-on-the-Tron” 2002

Science Centre The Big Idea (Irvine, Scotland)

Homage to Leonardo" 1999"**

Storm P. Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

“The World of Artist. Homage to Storm Peterson”, 1997

Experimentarium Science Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark

“The Old Viking” 1996

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** closed in 2003


COLLECTIONS

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

"The Millennium Clock Tower" (2000, in collaboration with Tim Stead, Annica Sandström, Jürgen Tübbecke )

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art *

“Proletarian Greetings to Honourable Jean Tinguely  from the Cradle of Three Revolutions”, set of three kinetic sculptures: “The Great Idea”, “Kremlin Dreamer”, “The Autumn Walk in the Belle Époque of Perestroika”

“Titanic”

Museum of Non-Conformist Art, St.Petersburg, Russia

“1946”

Parque de Las Ciencias, Granada, Spain

“Noah’s Ark”

Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

              “Tower of Pisa”

Eduard Bersudsky’s small kinetic sculptures and wooden carvings are to be found in a number of private collections in different countries

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* these works are on display at Sharmanka Theatre at Trongate 103)



THEATRE COLLABORATIONS

•2009 –“Sputnik” kinetic structure for outdoor performance for Fittings Multimedia Art (director – Garry Robson)

•2007 –stage set for Theatre Workshop production of Samuel Beckett “Endgame” (director – Robert Rae)

•2005 - “The Druid Clock”, a joint production of Sharmanka and Russian Dance theatre “DEREVO” presented at Royal Museum, Edinburgh (director – Anton Adasinsky) – funded by Eduard Bersudsky’s “Creative Scotland Award” project .

HISTORY