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Feature: The Emigrants and their Broken Ways

Ukrainian contemporary art exhibit to open in Sydney on February 18.

The searing experience of being forced to flee their homeland in search of safety, freedom and opportunities – most recently as a result of the brutal full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine – is the central theme behind the exhibition The Emigrants and their Broken Ways. The exhibition, featuring Ukrainian contemporary artworks, is on display at Sydney’s Billich Art Gallery between Sunday 18 – Thursday 22 February.

The Emigrants and their Broken Ways art exhibition delves into the journey, reasons, motives, and significance of emigrant life. Most of the artworks have been created during the time of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and include paintings, graphics and ceramics by artists from Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.

Artists include: Bohdan Pikulytskyi (Honoured Artist in Ukraine and Poland), Mykola Shymchuk (People’s Artist in Ukraine), Pavlo Ponomarenko, who fled Mariupol after its brutal occupation by Russian forces, Olha Kravchenko (prominent Lviv-based icon painter) and Anton Logov, whose illustration will grace the cover of renowned American historian and writer Timothy Snyder’s latest book.

“As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, it is inspirational to see how Ukrainian artists and creatives have resisted Putin’s assertion that Ukraine has no distinct culture and existence,” said Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia.

“As the exhibition shows, they have played a central role in defining the Ukrainian experience and its uniqueness and resilience since the start of the full-scale invasion,” he added. 

The exhibition is part of a larger art project titled We and the World, launched by the Lviv-based Kozytskyi Charity Foundation in the wake of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

“The We and the World art project has curated 34 exhibitions across 13 countries, promoting contemporary Ukrainian visual art around the world. We’re thrilled to be in Australia with our first exhibition,” said Dr Khrystyna Berehovska, Art Director of the Kozytskyi Charity Foundation.

“Through auctions and the sale of paintings, we seek to raise funds to support the victims of Russia’s war. Projects we’ve funded have included scholarships for talented young Ukrainians, as well as rehabilitation and social support services,” she added.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Kozytskyi Charity Foundation, in partnership with the Embassy of Ukraine in Australia, Future Ukraine, and the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations.

Exhibition details: 

Date: Sunday 18 February 2024 – Thursday 22 February
Time: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Billich Art Gallery, 106-108 George St, The Rocks, Sydney

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