Meet Kisenya Bilychkewskaya, a young Ukrainian currently based in Kraków, Poland, where she studies architecture in local Academy of Fine Arts. The tall, fiercely looking blonde dislikes living in Poland as she finds the country “absolutely asexual”. So we’ve found her a much sexier place to be: old sanatorium at Kuyalnyk estuary on the south of her beloved Ukraine.
For more than 180 years, Kuyalnyk estuary is famous for its itchy mud that has healing effect. So hundreds of people come to the sanatorium for unique health procedures. Some of them prefer private balneotherapy sessions under the supervision of local physicians and their all-seeing eyes. You’ll recognize such patients when they float around the spacious territory in weightless bathrobes and rest like Olympic gods. But during warm season, every comer can dare to lay down and take solo mudbath right on the shore of the estuary. Believe it or not, but after digging in sticky black Kuyalnyk dirt, even curvy grannies and their scrawny husbands get so rejuvenated they start resembling sexy stage fighters in early Christina Aguilera’s video. (better not fully believe) .
Soviet hotel rooms with crumbly balconies, old lithic stairs. Sceneries of the sanatorium remind Fellini’s “8½” movie, but with some shabby brutalist architecture and weirdly nostalgic feel of the place. “Honestly, I adore spending time at Soviet-era resorts of that kind”, riffs Kisenya. “From the very childhood, I preferred this to attending dull beach parties for youth. Leisure with all those old ladies who take care of their withered bodies, it is a real pleasure for me. I find some kind of morbid romance in this”.
Expecting that the hot architect got tired of buildings, and taking into account her preferences about the aged people , we decided to take her a little far from the sanatorium itself and closer to the salty shores. Right in her “Blue Oyster bar” leather hat and mint swimming suit, gleaming as mermaid’s scale, Kisenya plunged herself into salvatory mud.
Text by Ira Lupu