”I was always captivated by the ability of hand gestures to express emotions such as anger, compassion, and love. Just as in dance, such movements create emotions that play a major role in the creation and performance of my sand art." Ilana Yahav
A Life Story Written In The Sand
Becoming a Sand Animator & Sand Performer
Ilana always knew that her destiny was in art: painting, sculpting, and the plastic arts in general. And she has always sought new and original ways of expressing the vast range of human emotions and feelings.
“The experience of direct contact with sand enthralled me already as a child.” Ilana recalls: “It was a happy childhood along the shores of the Mediterranean, which I would visit every day on my way to school. I would draw a personal story, a kind of living diary in the sand. I would draw quickly, trying to finish it all before the wave would come and wipe everything out. I was totally spellbound. I would stand and watch until the drawing disappeared, realizing that everything is transient and temporary…”
So it is only natural that sand art would become the big love of Ilana’s life. The ability to create a poignant story using natural and simple means was a very exciting concept to her and became her main art form.
Hand Movements Are Key
Sand art, into which Ilana has put all her energies and talents, is a unique and minimalist art form in which she uses only that which God blessed her with: sand, hands and soul. It is this very simplicity that fascinates her and which makes it so compelling and exciting to her and her audience. “I was always captivated by the ability of hand gestures to express emotions such as anger, compassion, and love. Just as in dance, such movements create emotions that play a major role in the creation and performance of my sand art.”
For many years, Ilana ran a studio that created grotesque and realistic latex puppets and specialized in special effects for movie productions and advertisements (a field that she had studied in Hollywood, New York and London). In her studio, Ilana created the puppets for the most successful political satire program on Israeli television - “Chartzufim” - based on the notorious British show“Spitting Image”.
Over her many years as a sand artist, Ilana has staged numerous performances in dozens of countries around the world, in different cultures and for people from diverse backgrounds: from small, local and intimate performances to huge and grand productions. Ilana has performed at the Kremlin in front of an audience of thousands, with four orchestras accompanying her creations on stage. She's also performed before the King of Spain, the King of Belgium, and many others.
Social Media Presence
- Youtube views: More than 40M
- Youtube subscribers: 40K
- Facebook: 30K likes
Something Special Happens in Her Performances
Ilana in Got Talent
All of Ilana's performances are unique events that draw the audience into the experience and make them wound up in the creative process emerging before their eyes. Something captivating happens in all her performances: people become very emotional and often teary-eyed as well.
Ilana’s creations express her yearnings for peace and the values of friendship, compassion, love and the protection of our environment – values that touch many hearts and create a deep sense of identification and empathy.
Each Performance is Completely Unique
None of Ilana’s performances are the same. What’s more, in most cases, customers request a special artistic creation based on a topic of their choice. This means that each performance requires lengthy preparations, starting with the many sketches that she makes in a notebook, after which she proceeds to experiment on the sand table itself. Here, the creation generally undergoes extensive changes as a result of the emotions and feelings evoked within her as she works with the sand.
More Than Just Sand
Light and music also form important elements of Ilana’s creations. In her works, she uses lights that emerge from under a transparent table and sometimes even multicolored illumination. For the perfect soundtrack, Ilana carefully chooses music that matches the message and the sensations being conveyed.
Ilana's Story on Israel's Got Talent 2018
Art That Has Become a Mission
Going Beyond Sand Performance
Videos documenting Ilana’s performances and works (such as those available on this website) are shared frequently around the globe by her fan base, which continues to grow by the day. The videos are viewed by millions of people around the world and receive warm and heartening accolades from viewers of all religions, ages and nationalities. Ilana sees it as a personal mission to incorporate themes of peace in her works and to distribute these universal themes in the language of art: an inherently universal language.
Ilana Yahav's Lab
Ilana is a multidisciplinary, innovative artist. As such, she continuously tries new forms of art and techniques. In this section, you can find all of Ilana's latest unique work. Feel free to reach out to learn more!
In Memory of
Itzik, the beautiful man of my dreams. My best friend, the love of my life. Every morning I would wake up with a new fantasy and Itzik fulfilled all my dreams. My work will always be dedicated to him.