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The project is organised by Oxford Modern Laboratory of Wonders in partnership with Oxford University Russian Society. Editor: Vladimir Zubkov Translators: Maria New, Joe Mooney Cover and endpaper images: Evgenia Kalmykova Design and layout: Ksenia Zubkova Copyright Š 2014 Vladimir Zubkov, Oxford, UK All rights reserved. This publication is protected by copyright, and permission should be obtained from Vladimir Zubkov prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. For information regarding permission, write to Vladimir Zubkov. Printed and bound in Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford Fine Art Collection: Tears of Happiness Do you want to see how happiness looks like? The best artworks of the International Fine Art Competition “Tears of Happiness” are presented in this catalogue. The Art Competition “Tears of Happiness” is a new project of researchers from the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University and world artists, created to put together a collection of paintings “Tears of Happiness”. With the help of art, the project intends to draw public attention to the problem of dry eye syndrome as well as helps to beat the modern syndrome of dried-up souls. The project started in February 2013, when the Oxford Morden Experimental Laboratory of Wonders in partnership with Oxford University Russian Society announced the start of the International Fine Art Competition “Tears of Happiness”. The competition has created an enormous amount of interest - more than 800 artists from around the world have expressed their intention to participate in the project. The best 31 artworks are presented in this catalogue. Themes of love, family, childhood, almost everything that makes us happy are in this collection of fine art. Poster of the “Tears of Happiness” Fine Art Competition

This is how the creator of the idea for the competition, Dr Vladimir Zubkov, explains the idea of the Competition: “Hi! I am a scientific researcher in Mathematical Biology at Oxford University. My project is connected with mathematical modelling of human tears. My colleagues and I are working on helping those suffering from dry eye syndrome. This is a disease which arises due to a decrease in the quantity and quality of tears and leads to discomfort, dryness, a burning sensation in the eyes and even a loss of sight. Mathematical modelling of the dynamics of the tears on the eye surface helps scientists to reach a new level of understanding of the disease.


One of the members of my research team is an ophthalmologist who has told me a lot of interesting facts about human tears. For example, that a child does not produce tears during the first few months of his life; or that during our childhood we blink several times less that when we are adults; or that a rabbit blinks only once every 40 minutes! But the fact that amazed me the most is that crying is good for us! Tears are incredibly good for our eyes! I believe that my work will help us understand how to treat dry eye syndrome and that we will be able to cure this disease in the future. I have already published two research papers on this problem. Unfortunately, society does not pay enough attention and does not use enough resources to combat dry eye syndrome, and that needs to be changed! I think that if tears are good for our eyes, then we should cry! And of course, people should cry from happiness! I cannot make people happy, but I can try to create something to bring people joy and make them cry through laughter, to cry from happiness! The first idea I had was to create a collection of pictures called “Tears of Happiness” united by one idea and capable to draw attention to the necessity of research and fighting dry eye syndrome. I doubted that I am capable of drawing these pictures myself. But I believed there are many great talented artists in the world who are capable of this! This is how the idea of the art competition “Tears of Happiness” came about. But the creation of the collection is just the start. It must be shown to people, to be made wellknown and recognisable. As well as exhibitions, we plan to use other techniques to make this collection famous. I will be very happy if anyone has any ideas to share about how to achieve this, and is able to help me organise exhibitions of the collection. The project could be developed much further if we find those who wish to support “Tears of Happiness”! “ More details of the project can be found at and


1st Place


Vasiliy Anikin (Russia, Moscow) “Return” 2013, oil on canvas, 90 x 60 cm. “This painting I dedicate to all the women who wait for their husbands and loved ones days, months and perhaps years. About the hardship of the wait and joy of the return, about the happy tears which flow in that moment…”




Victoria Stoyanova (Bulgaria, Sofia) “Christmas Miracles” 2013, acrylic and gold leaf on wood, 90 x 50 cm. “It was the winter of distant 1973. Together with the children of my mum`s colleagues we were celebrating Christmas in a cold office. I was five and believed deeply in Santa Claus, and I had written him a loving letter asking to have a genuine guitar. And there he was, standing in front of us, with a guitar leaning on the big sack with the presents. I still remember how I couldn`t take my eyes off the guitar while my heart was galloping. But how could I believe this was my guitar when Santa Claus looked so phony… Then I heard my name and it felt like electricity was running through my curls. It wasn`t a dream! Before realizing I was holding tight the guitar and instead of smiling I started crying. At that time I still didn`t realize that happiness also brings tears as a proof that miracles exist.”


2nd Place Victoria Stoyanova (Bulgaria, Sofia) “Somewhere Far Away” 2013, acrylic and gold leaf on wood, 90 x 50 cm. “Although the postman used to come only in the mornings I checked the mail 10 times daily…every day for almost a year. I was looking forward to hear from my first love, that flew away before being able to feel its scent. I was 16 and the day that my boyfriend went on a trip and never returned was a dramatic one. But God heard my prayers and the long-awaited letter was close to my heart. He was alive…in a refugee camp, hoping for a new life in a new world…it took me long to read the letter because of the happy tears which were falling down my face. 30 years later the memory of this first love still moves me to tears. This boy never ever returned to me. All I had left was the hope that somewhere far away he has succeeded in finding his happiness.”

Victoria Stoyanova (Bulgaria, Sofia) “Neverending Story” 2013, acrylic and gold leaf on wood, 90 x 50 cm. “…I held the phone in my hand and it was already getting painful waiting for it to ring. A second day of waiting for my grandson`s birth. My little princess was about to become a mother! My child was expecting a child! My world was bewildered and uncomfortably confined. While a fear I have never felt before was making me feel smaller and smaller, the phone rang. A voice, mature and calm, greeted me. Congratulations, mum, even though you're only in your early forties, you are already a grandmother. The happiness took the place of the unknown fear. The tears that followed were so strong and purifying it felt as though I was being born again. My daughter often asks me when I will grow up…probably never. The story never ends.”


3rd Place

Elena Sigmund (Slovenia, Šentjanž)

“Dance with the bird of happiness” 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm. “I feel the world smiling, The golden light shines, And is happy like a child. I feel how my tear, Salt of the southern seas, Drips and makes its stirring sound. Laughter that fills the world, Is held by one heart tight. With it does it feel so light?”



Anna Chaynikova (Russia, Moscow) “Tears of Happiness” 2013, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60 cm. “A person is a sun, a girl – joy! Lovely, sweet and happy… Only we ourselves and the light inside us can allow us to see this world in all its brilliance, liveliness and beauty. The creator is alone, the artist only an onlooker.”



Tatiana Eremenko (Russia, Volgograd) “When it rains” 2013, watercolor and white gouache on paper, 50 x 30 cm. “Rain is the tears of nature, but people can be happy when it rains. These are their tears of happiness.”



Anna Bagriy (Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk) “The Gift of Love” 2013, acrylic on canvas, 80 х 50 cm. "The union of two souls, two loving hearts – is this not happiness? In the Bible it says '… a man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they shall become one flesh…'… a girl cries tears of happiness when her love asks her to be his wife… the tears of happiness of their families and friends accompany the wedding ceremony… it is her and his tears, when they discover that they are expecting a child… This is love! This is joy! This is life! And so they both stand, under the 'rain' of divine bliss, and the tears – not of rain, but of happiness – cleanse their souls and make this world wonderful!"



Anastasiya Balych (Belarus, Zaslawye) “From age 0 to 3” 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm. “When your child is between 0 and 3 years old it is just the right time to wear tights on your head! What's more it is the happiest time for parents! Life is only beginning and there is so much to look forward to, such great responsibility for your beloved children’s happy future! Draw hares, friends, while the tights are where they should be! ”



Anastasiya Balych (Belarus, Zaslawye) “My Superman” 2013, oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm. “An autobiographical painting of the happy life of a mother and son. A walk becomes a journey, and the child is so very happy! A painting of great dreams and hopes, of peace and love, of how the son is happy when his mother is at home, and the mother flies alongside her superman!”



Hanna Davydchenko (Ukraine, Feodosia) “I'm a cat too” 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm. “Children can be very fun when they talk to animals. When we see their spontaneity we become kinder and happier too.”



Margarita Spiridonova (Russia, Korolyev) “First Snow” 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm. “The first snow is nothing special – it may be nice, but it's only snow, as an adult would say. But for a child it is like something from a fairytale, a unique experience and an occasion for fun and games. Loving life and filling every moment with happiness is that great gift that nature gives us, and unfortunately also that which we lose forever in this world we have made.”



Victoria Kramorova (Russia, Rostov-on-Don) “Love Story - A man and a horse: The Dream” 2013, pastel on paper, 50 x 70 cm. “A young girl draws for her the most beautiful animals – horses. She loves them so much that, pressing pencil to paper, her dream comes to life. The two white horses, the easel and the paper are nothing more than a lifelong dream. My dream. And so tears, tears of happiness, are the innermost particles of a dream already realised, on paper. I thank God for this gift…”



Victoria Kramorova (Russia, Rostov-on-Don) “Love Story - A man and a horse: Fidelity” 2013, pastel on paper, 50 x 70 cm. “What happens when you get old? Do you stay true to your childhood dream? I believe that you do. I believe that when I am an old grey woman I will stand alongside my white horse, whose sight gave me support and my life meaning. Staying true to yourself and your dream to the end – this is happiness with a big smile.”



Kate Kulish (Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk) “The tree” 2013, oil on canvas, 80 x 50 cm. “'The tree' is a family tree. Family is the foundation for every person's happiness.”



Ekaterina Kobba (Russia, Saint-Petersburg) “Spirit” 2013, acrylic and tempera on canvas, 50 x 70 cm. “Children are our life's meaning. For a woman there is no greater happiness than her child. A mother sheds tears beyond count for her child, but whatever should happen these tears will always have in them a drop of incredibly joy and unbounded gratitude to God for this happiness.”



Karina Krylova (Kazakhstan, Almaty) “My friend the kite� 2013, oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm. "What can be happier than childhood? Best friends, sunny weather and flying a kite!"



Karina Krylova (Kazakhstan, Almaty) “Homecoming” 2013, acrylic on canvas, 55 х 45 cm. "Life wrought from the painful embraces of war. True happiness is returning home while still drawing breath. True happiness is seeing a beloved face. True happiness is waiting then being rewarded for it. Happiness is when the war ends."



Olga Burova (Russia, Moscow) “Let us never quarrel...” 2005, batik on cotton, 80 x 60 cm. “Seeing each other again after a quarrel is happiness with tears in its eyes from the chance to be loved once more, to forgive and understand. Memories are also happiness from which we will never part.”



Ann Saranchuk (Russia, Krasnodar Region) “Waves” 2013, watercolor and ink on paper, 40 x 75 cm. “How quickly we are overcome by emotion… emotion and worry are so tempestuous, that to express them any differently is impossible… and we cry. A wave of emotion turns to tears, the tears dry out, and all that is left in the soul is a sweet joy and feeling of freedom and purity. Like waves that surge up so unexpectedly and ebb once again into the sea, leaving behind only a freshness of air. Are tears really a sign of weakness? Not one bit. 'To give a person as their fate the tenderest heart contrived, clearly, nature, and it did it with tears.' Juvenal”



Anastasia Narozhnyaya (Russia, Saratov) “Meeting” 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm. “Love… once someone has felt it, they may one moment curse it and the next extol its virtues. But none of us may forget that inexpressible feeling of happiness and lightness they get from seeing a loved one after a long time apart. This is when even the rain and wind cannot get you down! When the glow of the street lights makes it feel like the sun is shining! And you want one thing only: to pull your love closer and hear your hearts beat as one against the sound of the rain… to hear both your breathing, so light and dear. This is what happiness is. This is what eternity is. The whole world around you has stopped, to let your hearts love. If you feel this just once, you will never forget it. Do not be afraid of love! Do not be afraid to give love! Because it is when we love that life shows itself to us in all its most wondrous colours and sounds. And we ourselves are kinder, more beautiful and more wonderful in body and soul! Love life! Love each other! Because love is the meaning of life that we so often look for and try to understand!.. And no tears are purer and happier than those that quietly flow from our eyes when we see a loved one after a long time apart!..”



Yuliya Kucenko (Ukraine, Kharkiv) “Together” 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 cm “When you find a person who is close to you, your soul soars ever higher, leaving far below the bustle of the world. And only the tears of happiness can remind you that you are a person.”



Alisa Gorelova (Russia, Chelyabinsk) “Splash” 2013, gouache on paper, 38 x 45 cm. “Children are happiness. When a bubble bursts and splashes a girl in the face, it looks like tears. Tears of joy, of being carefree and of happiness.”



Swati Bhatia (India, Haryana) “Parisa – in Joy” 2013, charcoal on paper, 51 x 38 cm. “Watching my daughter enjoying the water, I went through deep emotions. I was thankful to God, full of gratitude and felt blessed at being a mother. I wanted to capture this one moment in time where my daughter is experiencing the purest form of joy and I am feeling heavy with emotion!”



Svetlana Shukshina (Russia, Omsk) “Across the Universe” 2013, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 80 cm. “The theme 'Tears of happiness' is complex and ambiguous. It means anticipation, a surge of emotion, even an explosion. Joy and regret, that happiness was not there before.”




Maria Onuchina (Russia, Omsk) “Sun. Rain” 2013, acrylic on carton, 50 x 70 cm. “A woman, flowers. Rain, sun – a clash of moods.”

Vilena Bayguzhina (Russia, Smolensk) “Children's happiness” 2013, watercolor on paper, 15 x 28 cm. “Bubbles are the symbol of childhood spontaneity, awe in the face of the world, joy from every moment of life, but with age this awe passes in the same way that bubbles burst, and it thrills us to remember the happiness of childhood.”



Alena Filatova (Russia, Krasnoyarsk Region) “Life in the village” 2013, colored pencils on paper, 43 x 60 cm. “In my painting is an old man who every evening returns to his home in the village. He rests his elbows on the fence and tears of happiness well in his eyes. He has seen many years, has his own story and is happy that around him are the places he grew up. I wish everyone to have around them loved ones and those they grew up with, and to grow flowers. They are very beautiful.”



Ganna Strogova (Ukraine, Poltava) “Rain” 2013, acrylic, pastel and ink on canvas, 80 x 50 cm. “A peasant woman cries with joy because it has started to rain. After long months of drought, rain means salvation, the harvest, life. And raising her hands in the air she finds joy in the rain, has no fear of it and does not try to hide. The opposite – she wants to be soaked by it, to see what it tastes like, to wash herself in it, to become one with it. She dances out of happiness, that it has come.”



Anastasia Polynyak (Russia, Chelyabinsk) “A new miracle� 2013, batik on cotton, 40 x 60 cm. "Long-awaited motherhood, this is what happiness is. When from nothing, out of nowhere, comes life, is born a new genius, a person yet to wake, yet to show itself, but already great. And the love of a mother, her warmth and tenderness for the baby are like God's love for a person. This painting is a message to each of us: you came here with your wondrous mission; you are a miracle, a gift for this earth. And you are loved. Unconditionally. Simply because you are."



Alina-Ondine Slimovschi (Romania, Timis) “Tears of Happiness: Birth” 2013, black marker on paper, 50 x 70 cm. “The image of the infant in the father’s arms tells of the feeling of safety and magic, as the child starts to experience life. Pure magic, like the entire world of childhood, and security, like the strong arms lifting him up in the air. Butterflies of a bright future come to meet and bless the child, as they follow the path of happiness and completion from father to son.”


ARtists Anikin Vasiliy (Russia, Moscow) “Return” page 3


Bagriy Anna (Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk) “The Gift of Love” page 9

Balych Anastasiya (Belarus, Zaslawye)

Bayguzhina Vilena (Russia, Smolensk)

“From age 0 to 3”, “My Superman” pages 10,11

“Children’s happiness“ page 27

Bhatia Swati (India, Haryana)

Burova Olga (Russia, Moscow)

“Parisa – in Joy“ page 25

“Let us never quarrel...” page 20

Chaynikova Anna (Russia, Moscow)

Davydchenko Hanna (Ukraine, Feodosia)

“Tears of Happiness“ page 7

“I’m a cat too“ page 12

Eremenko Tatiana (Russia, Volgograd) “When it rains“ page 8

Filatova Alena (Russia, Krasnoyarsk Region) “Life in the village“ page 29

Gorelova Alisa (Russia, Chelyabinsk)

Kobba Ekaterina (Russia, Saint-Petersburg)

“Splash” page 24

“Spirit“ page 17

Kramorova Victoria (Russia, Rostov-on-Don)

Krylova Karina (Kazakhstan, Almaty)

“Love Story - A man and a horse: The Dream”, “Love Story - A man and a horse: Fidelity” pages 14,15

“My friend the kite “, “Homecoming” pages 18,19

Kucenko Yuliya (Ukraine, Kharkiv)

Kulish Kate (Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk)

“Together“ page 23

Narozhnyaya Anastasia (Russia, Saratov) “Meeting“ page 22

“The tree“ page 16

Onuchina Maria (Russia, Omsk) “Sun. Rain“ page 28


Polynyak Anastasia (Russia, Chelyabinsk) “A new miracle” page 31


Saranchuk Ann (Russia, Krasnodar Region) “Waves” page 21

Shukshina Svetlana (Russia, Omsk)

Sigmund Elena (Slovenia, Šentjanž)

“Across the Universe” page 26

“Dance with the bird of happiness“ page 6

Slimovschi Alina-Ondine (Romania, Timis)

Spiridonova Margarita (Russia, Korolyev)

“Tears of Happiness: Birth“ page 32

“First Snow” page 13

Stoyanova Victoria (Bulgaria, Sofia)

Strogova Ganna (Ukraine, Poltava)

“Christmas Miracles”, “Neverending Story”, “Somewhere Far Away” pages 4,5

“Rain“ page 30

Acknowledgements We would like to express our gratitude to the many people who helped us with the “Tears of Happiness� project and this catalogue; to all those who provided support, talked things over, read, wrote, offered comments, and assisted in the editing, proofreading and design. Above all we want to thank Ksenia Zubkova, Evgenia Kalmykova, Juliane Kerkhecker, Maria New, Joe Mooney, William Artamon, Mihran Vardanyan, Alain Goriely, Anton Chesnokov, Anatoliy Shevyakov, Alina Rakhimova, Maxim Kotenev, Andrey Melnik, Oleg Belov, Yuriy Shakhmetov, Justin Reay, Ekaterina Savishchenko, Sergey Danchev, Grigory Gukasov, Elena Prudnikova, Oksana Arkhipova, Yulia Blinova, Saida Afonina, Alexander Fedorov, Natalia Bakovich, Maria Shestopalova, Tatiana Kirgizova, Anna Rebrova, Sergey Troshin, Marat Gorylev.

See news of the project at: Competition website:

OxMelow oxford, uk 2014

Profile for Tears of Happiness

Tears of Happiness Oxford Fine Art Collection 2014  

Do you want to see how happiness looks like? The best artworks of the International Fine Art Competition “Tears of Happiness” are presented...

Tears of Happiness Oxford Fine Art Collection 2014  

Do you want to see how happiness looks like? The best artworks of the International Fine Art Competition “Tears of Happiness” are presented...

Profile for haptears