A unique set of artworks is going on display in a free exhibition opening in Letterkenny this weekend.

The special collection of works by Ukrainian artists, both amateur and professional, comes to An Grianán Theatre on Saturday 10th December.

Entitled “Birds flying high” after the song by jazz singer Nina Simone, the exhibition will present the work of over 30 Ukrainian artists (some professional some amateur) curated by Svitlana Babenko.

All works are for sale, with at least 15% of proceeds to be used for additional artwork for the Cathedral Quarter initiative in Letterkenny. Some proceeds of the sales will go to the artists themselves and some to cover the costs of the exhibition.

Over 60 paintings are included in the collection, all featuring birds.

Svitlana said: “We have chosen to feature Birds – images that have a special meaning and significance for people from Ukraine. Each bird is like an amulet for each house a symbol of love and protection, bringing peace and safety to each Ukrainian home”.

“This exhibition showcases the work of Ukrainians living in exile – and they want to share these images and hope they too bring peace and beauty to their adopted Irish homes. The group of artists would like to offer these images for Irish homes as well as their way of saying thank you for the welcome and support that they have enjoyed here.”

The exhibition will be opened by Cathaoirleach of Letterkenny Municipal District, Cllr. Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly.

Svitlana would also like to offer her Irish hosts a taste of Ukraine as well with some edible treats at the opening as well as some handmade crafts on sale on the day. She promises a warm and welcoming atmosphere with music and maybe a slice of a very special ‘opening’ cake… if you come early!

The opening is at 1pm on Saturday 10th December and will run until 19th December.

The exhibition opening will be followed at 1.45pm to 2:30pm by the performance of An Grianán artist-in-residence Olesya Zdorovetska joined by special guests.

Olesya Zdorovetska is a performer, composer and curator. As an international soloist and collaborator she works in the fields of improvised, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, contemporary classical, traditional Ukrainian and Sephardic music, theatre and film.

She is the founder of the Ukrainian-Irish Cultural Platform and co-curator and producer of Phonica, a platform for new music and poetry in Dublin.

Olesya Zdorovetska
(Photo Gerry Mooney)

There will be a special auction of works on Saturday 17th December at 6pm (some proceeds going to the Cathedral Quarter project). This auction will be opened by Irish Times journalist and writer Michael Harding who will make a general reflection on art and the situation in Ukraine.

This arts initiative is supported by Donegal Intercultural Platform and the Arts Office of Donegal County Council & An Grianán Theatre