Open Eye Gallery: Ukrainian photography inspiring UK words


Ukrainian photography inspiring UK words

Open Eye Gallery is proud to be a commissioned organisation for EuroFestival, which will take over Liverpool in the lead up to The Eurovision Song Contest.

Working together with Ukrainian curators Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi (Ukrainian.Photographies) and partner organisations in Liverpool City Region, Open Eye Gallery will produce exhibitions, publications and events in the gallery and across Liverpool city region, reflecting on the question What does home mean? With over 40 venues, this is the largest exhibit of Ukrainian photography in the UK.

Exhibitions in Liverpool City Region

  • Williamson Art Gallery & Museum (April 26 – May 27). This exhibition offers various interpretations of the concept of ‘Resistance’ by bringing together the work of 3 different Ukrainian photographers. Mykhaylo Palinchak had never covered military conflicts before but after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, he transformed his photographic practices to record the atrocities committed by the russian army and the resistance of the Ukrainian people.  At this time, Andrii Rachinskiy also turns to the documentary genre recording the widespread practice of people painting over the road signs and toponyms to disorient the occupation army. Elena Subach’s project ‘Lamkist’ (Fragility) is aimed at the poetisation and monumentalisation of mundane and fragile ordinary things, a reflection on the often unnoticed artefacts of the everyday. It reveals the presence of resistance in the coming together and coming apart of natural and man-made objects.
  • Norton Priory (27 April – 31 May). The two featured Ukrainian photography projects demonstrate different aspects of being with a place – from owning to conquering it to cultivating or occupying it. In Anatoliy Babiychuk’s project, the village of Horaivka stands as an exemplary story of a small village that has kept a traditional way of living, cultivating a deep connection with the land typical of Ukrainian tradition. Exhibited in the walled garden, Black on Prussian Blue by Andriy Dostliev and Lia Dostlieva explores the notion of a perpetrator’s gaze based on the study of the photographs from the family album of a Wehrmacht soldier who served in the Luftwaffe during WWII.
  • Kirkby Gallery (01 May – 15 June). Nazar Furyk represents the generation of artists whose practices are characterised by an exploratory approach to photographic imagery and photographic subjects. His project “Simple Things” blurs the boundaries of photographic genres searching for new pictorial forms or questioning the role of the medium today.
  • Unity Theatre (01 – 12 May). ‘To Know Us Better’ project by Anton Shebetko celebrates queer Ukrainians who are living or temporarily staying in Europe. Their experience and hopes for a better future are documented in a series of portraits and heartfelt interviews.
  • The Atkinson (04 May – 15 June). The projects ‘My World is not Real Enough for an Apocalypse’ by Sasha Kurmaz and ‘Dreamland Donbas’ by  Viktor Marushchenko were both shot in the Donetsk region but at different times and told about different people and communities.  The heroes and heroines of Marushchenko’s photographs are the illegal coal miners trying to make ends meet. Kurmaz’s story is about the ‘social life of the young generation in the Donetsk region, its form and relationship in the environment.’

Home. Perspectives exhibition at Open Eye Gallery

The exhibition Home. Perspectives (4 May – 21 May), curated by Ukrainian curators Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi (Ukrainian.Photographies), will show contemporary Ukrainian photography reflecting the vibrancy, diversity and creativity of modern Ukrainian culture.

Film: Ukrainian curators and photographers and UK poets are talking about home and what it means to them in Home From Home film produced by Hurricane Films and Arthouse Traffic Films.

Book: The book Home will include featured photographs and commissioned poems, the exhibition views, and essays on the topic of home.

The full programme can be found on Open Eye Gallery website (click on the direct link).