RISE: an exciting and thought-provoking exhibition of art made by Ukrainian people who have currently made the UK their home while the war continues in their own country. The exhibition is curated by Andy Bullock MFA and Yulia Astasheva, herself a native of the Dnipropetrovsk region in Ukraine, who arrived in Oxford in March.
Astasheva has been collaborating with Fusion Arts on various projects since she first arrived in the UK and this connection has seen her set up art therapy sessions at the Gloucester Green gallery space that were held in conjunction with fellow Ukrainian and artist Iryna Shylnikova.
All the work in the exhibition has been made since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops on the 24 February this year and was created in response to this awful situation. Bullock and Astasheva were determined that the exhibition should be used as an opportunity for these talented individuals to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions through their art.
“We wanted to give Ukrainian people in the UK a voice and the chance to have their thoughts heard” said Astasheva, “It is so important for displaced people in situations like this to feel they have a right to be heard and that they are being listened to. Everyone from Ukraine who has ended up seeking safety in the UK has a story to tell, many are utterly terrifying, many risked their lives simply to reach this country and experience what British people consider normality”.
“All too often with these crises, that are not in our own country, it is easy for the topic to slip down the page’ in importance the longer it continues; we simply can’t allow that to happen” added Bullock, “Ukraine and her people are fighting for all our democracies in the west and that includes the United Kingdom”.
Most of the work on show is for sale with 50% going directly to the artist and 50% will be administered by the Oxford University Ukrainian Society with the proceeds going to trusted organizations providing humanitarian support in Ukraine.
The exhibition is open weekdays 2pm-6pm, Saturday 12pm-3pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm from 23rd to 30th September at 95 Gloucester Green in Oxford, OX1 2BU.