As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues, creative talents from across the world have come together to spread awareness of the iniquities of war and to highlight the importance of food, clothing, water and shelter for all those affected not just in Ukraine, but globally.
“Ptashka”, also known as “The Bird of Peace”, is a charity art exhibition advocating for justice in Ukraine by sharing thirty-one photographs of pre-war Ukraine to symbolize thirty-one years of independence.
The title of the exhibition, “Ptashka” translates to “birdie” in Ukrainian and refers to the National animal of Ukraine, the nightingale, while simultaneously being used as a symbol of everlasting home and peace.
“This bird is depicted in legend to the people of Ukraine as a spring-time visitor to the country after only residing in India, and one spring traveling across to Ukraine to spread happiness into Ukrainian song,” writes Eve McIntosh of Metal Magazine. “Since then, the nightingale has traveled to Ukraine each spring, bringing with it joy and prosperity.” The Ptashka exhibition thus aims to represent the Ukrainian nightingale, bringing hope back to Ukraine this spring after what has been a long period of darkness.
The team behind “Ptashka” includes Baby Prod, the non-profit creative organization ERE Foundation, website technology by Sheriff Projects, in addition to an online gallery and auction space by Artissue Gallery.
The exhibition presents the work of talented artists, some including political cartoonist Sasha Ivanov, fashion and documentary photographers Patrick Bienert and David Mushegain, Georgian photographer David Meshki, portrait style documentary photographer Alex Huanfa Cheng and many others, including Vladyslav Andrievsky of Ukraine.
Sasha Ivanoc’s newspaper style cartoons entitled I’m done use a sketchy, hectic and dark art style that is symbolic of war itself. Patrick Bienert from Germany references cultural and natural elements, including bodies of water in Ukraine, to emphasize the significance of Ukraine's historical trade routes and connections to the world. David Mushegain’s fashion photography plays with sexuality and mockery with his photograph Julia in Striletsk’ka street, in which graffiti spells out “Kill Me Putin” behind a young woman taking up space in a bold demonstration of resistance. David Meshki’s Prayer powerfully draws from the colours of the Ukrainian flag to demonstrate the support for and influence of the global tragedy. Alex Huanfa Cheng often captures different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and in his piece smile reminds viewers of the joy and innocence of Ukrainian children prior to the tragedy.
“Ptashka” demonstrates a connection to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, as each artwork sold at the exhibit is priced at 120€ and will be donated to the National Bank of Ukraine Humanitarian Aid to help provide food, shelter and necessities to those in need. Additionally, donations can be made through the Ptashka website, which offers artworks that are free to be downloaded and shared with loved ones around the world.