Art from the Fragments of War: Exhibition Opens in Ukraine’s Capital Featuring Artifacts Made from Weapon and Equipment Debris
The exhibition will be permanently on display. Admission is free.
On October 20th in Kyiv, an exhibition of artworks created by contemporary Ukrainian artists from fragments of weapons and machinery began. These fragments were collected by volunteers in Ukrainian cities that experienced heavy bombardment from the Russian army. The War Artists Union project aims to remind everyone that art can transform instruments of death into symbols of rebirth.
The exhibition is located at the eco-space of City Zen Park Business Center (Kyiv, Sumska Street, 1, Vasylikivska metro station). It operates from Wednesday to Sunday, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and will be a permanent fixture. Entrance is free of charge.
The War Artists Union collection boasts over 20 artifacts. Among them is a collection of jewelry made from brass casings collected by volunteers near Izium, created by the renowned jeweler and sculptor Volodymyr Balyberdin, whose works are preserved in the Museum of Historical Treasures of the National Historical Museum of Ukraine. The exhibition also features a table made from the debris of an “Alligator” helicopter shot down by our military near Izium. Among other pieces is a sculpture of Madonna made from fragments of an X-31 missile that fell in Kyiv in May 2022 and many other intriguing exhibits. The collection includes furniture from weapon remnants by Ivan Stetsiuk, metal sculptures by Roman Velihursky, and scrap metal sculptures by Serhiy Demchenko.
War Artists Union (WAU) is a team of Ukrainian artists from across the country, specializing in creating exclusive art objects for interior design using fragments of military equipment and weapons. The project embodies the philosophy of transformation: from the remnants of war arises art, and from instruments of destruction emerges Ukrainian rebirth. Every piece in the collection has historical, artistic, and utilitarian value, and all materials used to create the artworks have been checked, deemed safe, and have the necessary documentation.
“Ukraine will never be the same again, but even from shattered fragments, Ukrainians can create beauty,” says Svitlana Bilyk, founder of the War Artists Union project. “The time will come when we will prevail, the time will come when Ukraine will transform and become even better than before. And it is art that should reflect this transformation, showcasing to the world the new Ukraine and shaping a new image of the country.”
The goals of the War Artists Union project are cultural diplomacy worldwide. The artists’ union team seeks to refocus and amplify attention on the war in Ukraine through art, showcasing how destruction can be transformed into a symbol of rebirth and peace. WAU aims to change the country’s image, aspiring for Ukraine to be perceived not as helpless victims but as a valuable part of the global community. Another goal is business development essential for Ukraine’s stable existence; WAU creates jobs, pays taxes, and boosts exports. WAU provides hope and fosters a resilient attitude towards the challenges of war.
Through the sale of art objects, WAU plans to raise funds to assist the army, emergency services, and those affected by the war – 15% of sales go to charity. By providing artists with unique materials, the project stimulates their creativity, giving rise to new Ukrainian art in line with contemporary Ukrainian trends. The War Artists Union emphasizes the importance of ecological restoration and recycling, reducing the negative impact of war on the environment. WAU acts as a platform to preserve memories of the war, the heroism of soldiers, and the consequences of conflicts through art, creating an artistic legacy reflecting the cultural, historical, and emotional aspects of war.
The exhibition was launched on September 20th, with the first to view the artists’ works being Oleksandr Moroz, Semen Horov, Yana Pomazan, Oleg Pinchuk, Giya Getsadze, Volodymyr and Kateryna Ostapchuks, Olimpia Vaitmustash, and Oleksandr Smyrnov.