Since 2018 my friend, artist Nataliia Shyrant, together with her colleagues from the W'ART Сreative Foundation – Ukrainian Women-in-Art, used to organize exhibitions in libraries, museums, and even in the Great Tower of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
These were not just exhibitions, they were complete art events involving musicians, fashion designers, opera singers performances. «In Search of Harmony», «Colorful Dreams», «Mystery», «Native», «Echoes of Trypillia» and other exhibitions filled the space with warmth, light, inspiration, love, and women’s energy.
After February 24, the date of escalation of Russian aggression in Ukraine, everything has changed. Many artists have become refugees scattered around the world.
Artist Oksana Osnach, is in occupied Kherson and I don't know what might happen to her tomorrow. A missile hit Natalie Shyrant's house, some artworks were destroyed, part of the painting workshop was destroyed. Irina Stolnikovych's husband was killed.
Everything has changed. But the power of Ukrainian women, our strength and hope for a peaceful future for our children in their homeland remains unchanged.
By beauty and harmony we want to tell the world about Ukrainian women. We tell about pain, faith and strength of the family, thirst for life, faith in the future. There is life against death in our artworks. And in presenting this exhibition, we choose Life.
Therefore, I am grateful to to Yurii Tkach, the director of Galagan Art Museum from Chernihiv for help in organizing and co-creating in this project.
Olha Timontieieva, project manager
May 2022, Kyiv
She graduated from NAOMA, Faculty of Monumental Painting, workshop of Oleksii Kozhekov / Oleksandr Belianskyi. Personal exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad, one of the founders of the W`ART foundation - Women in ART.
In March 2022, a Russian shell hit our house. Fortunately, my son and I were already away. And a few days before we had been living in the basement for a week. Then, during another shelling, at night-time we fled towards Western Ukraine. It was really scary… Forced to travel around the country, I meet many wonderful people.
Early beginnig (2021) by Nataliia ShyrantGalagan Art Museum
And I paint. I paint warriors, I pant women.
Tenderness (2022) by Nataliia ShyrantGalagan Art Museum
Because a Ukrainian Woman is a reliable support-back of her Warrior. The Ukrainian Woman is always close to her Man with her prayers and thoughts.
Princess (2021) by Nataly ShyrantGalagan Art Museum
She tells the whole world about the Ukrainian Heroes, Warriors who defend her, the Ukrainian children, the Ukrainian land, Independence and Freedom.
Ukrainian fine squirrel (2022) by Nataliia ShyrantGalagan Art Museum
Ukrainian fine squirrel
But she will never forget...
Together to Victory!
Was born in 1977 in Lviv region. Studied at Lviv Academy of Arts. She is a member of the Union of Fine Artists of Australia and the Ukrainian W’ART Women’s Art Foundation. Her first solo exhibition took place in 2007. She is a participant of many group exhibitions.
There were battles in my village of Buzova, Bucha district, Kyiv region in March 2022. Here humans were fired at apartment buildings and cars with civilians were shot. They did not allow to make a humanitarian corridor. People died and were buried in the courtyards.
Tank in the yard. Irpin (2022-03-06) by Lesia BabliakGalagan Art Museum
Tank in the yard. Irpin
Russian tanks appeared in the morning… It became clear that our village could be surrounded. The decision to leave was made immediately. We took the documents, warm jackets and went through the field away…
"Stove - the heart of the home. Hit... " (2022-04-30) by Lesia BabliakGalagan Art Museum
"Stove - the heart of the home. Hit... "
We saved our lives. We left everything.
Bomb shelter in the maternity hospital (2022-03-28) by Lesia BabliakGalagan Art Museum
Bomb shelter in the maternity hospital
Now I see the tragedy of my people through the lenses of photographers and photos from social networks. I draw on them. Despite my pain.
Farewell (2022-03-24) by Lesia BabliakGalagan Art Museum
I still have one thought every night – I will wake up and tomorrow there will be no war….
I want to return to my home.
Greetings – I`m from Ukraine! More precisely – I am from Bucha. Now the whole world knows this small cozy town near by Kyiv. And not because the tops of tall pines converge above the head. And not because the houses of good owners are flourishing and well-groomed. And not because children's laughter is heard everywhere.
Unbreakable (2020) by Iryna StolnikovychGalagan Art Museum
This small town is well known in the world because Bucha has become the site of the tragedy of this war. These are mass graves, shot children, raped and killed women, tortured men. This is the horror of the occupation and my personal painful wound from the loss of a loved one.
Girl – Spring (2021) by Iryna StolnikovychGalagan Art Museum
Girl - Spring
Despite Ukrainian women are tender on the outside, they are brave and unbreakable on the inside. And while our soldiers fight Russian invaders, we, driven by the great love for our children, our beloved ones, our native land and the whole universe, make varenyky for the guys on the front line.
New Day (2020) by Iryna StolnikovychGalagan Art Museum
We volunteer, patch the shelling-damaged roofs, sing the lullabies to our kids and plant flowers.
Majors (2021) by Iryna StolnikovychGalagan Art Museum
Lots of flowers. In gardens and on paintings. As a symbol of free, flourishing Ukraine, that no one is able to break and to trample.
Journalist, TV presenter, artist.
Host of information programs of DOM TV channel, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. One of the founders of the W`ART foundation – Women in ART.
It still seems that you are sleeping...
Now you will wake up and there is no more war! But every day you understand - there is burnt crushed Mariupol and it is still unconquered. Everyone has already seen the atrocities of the rushists in Makariv, Bucha, Irpin, Borodianka, Motyzhyn, Dymer... Thousands killed and
tortured. Destroyed cities and villages! Occupied Nova Kakhovka and Kherson, where my
friends suffer from lack of medicine, food and from cold...
We are for peace (2021) by Svitlana LeontievaGalagan Art Museum
We are for peace
On the morning of February 24 I went to work and held several newscasts from 7:00. I said the word "War" and did not believe myself.
Offended... (2021) by Svitlana LeontievaGalagan Art Museum
Armored personnel carriers were already driving through the streets of the capital, cars with those fleeing the war already flooded the roads. Russia invaded Ukraine. In the 21st century...
Sleep my sweet baby (2022) by Svitlana LeontievaGalagan Art Museum
Sleep my sweet baby
My husband and I stayed. At home in Kyiv. And on February 23, 2022, the day before the war, I was inspired to paint 'The Meeting at the Spring'...
Meeting. Unfinished painting (2022) by Svitlana LeontievaGalagan Art Museum
Meeting. Unfinished painting
I was struck by the fact that the Samaritan woman who met Jesus (my picture appeals to this biblical story) was called Fatinia. This is my church name! That's why I decided to paint such a canvas. I can't finish it yet ...
May 2, 2022
I was born in 1965 in Kherson. I am an engineer by first education, and an artist and a teacher of fine arts by the second one. Since 2012 I have been a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine.
"There will be a son and there will be a mother" (2022) by Oksana OsnachGalagan Art Museum
"There will be a son and there will be a mother"
This is the first picture I painted during the occupation. About pain and great hope. About the price Ukraine pays in the war against evil.
"Thinking about beloved" (2020) by Oksana OsnachGalagan Art Museum
"Thinking about beloved"
Ukrainian girl, a woman - a beautiful flower, decorates life and cultivates beautiful relationships.
"Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow" (2022) by Oksana OsnachGalagan Art Museum
"Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow"
Prayer and song…
"Saving the world" (2022) by Oksana OsnachGalagan Art Museum
"Saving the world"
You have to decide for yourself - who saves the world: beauty, woman, Ukraine or Mother of God?…
And the question for you: how do you save the world?
Favorite things in my life are to stop the moment with my paintbrush and oil paints and teach painting to anyone. Now, during the war, in occupied Kherson, creativity is my salvation.
I can't talk about what I experienced during the war, because it hurts. All I can say, I paint on canvas. As then, in good times, painting helped me represent the emotions and ecologically express them.
Berehynia (2019) by Nataliia MykytenkoGalagan Art Museum
Creativity is the manifestation of me as a person. I write pictures by the call of my soul. When words lose their clarity, I focus on my feelings. I sincerely believe that feeling is all we have.
Covered bare (2019) by Nataliia MykytenkoGalagan Art Museum
I love the moments when I am left alone with paints, the moment when you can express yourself in different colors without restraining your inner feelings and emotions.
Berehynia (2022-04) by Nataliia MykytenkoGalagan Art Museum
In this way I keep the balance between external and internal.
Prayer (2022-04) by Nataliia MykytenkoGalagan Art Museum
I accept everything that comes out from under the brush as a gift with great gratitude to the Universe.