Поліна Карпова, без назви, 2018

The British Council have opened it’s 2018 exhibition season with a presentation of works by UK and Ukrainian participants in SWAP: UK/Ukraine Artist Residency programme 2017. Eight artists took part in artistic residencies in Ukraine and the UK in 2017 — the results of which have been shown at the YermilovCentre in Kharkiv from 16 March through 15 April 2018.

Eight artists from Ukraine and the UK (Polina Karpova, Maria Kulikovska, Anton Lapov, Vova Vorotniov; Kyung Hwa Shon, Stephen Sheehan, Vicki Thornton, Adam J B Walker) have presented the results of their residencies as part of SWAP: UK/Ukraine Artist Residency programme. Final exhibition curatorial team: Olena Kasperovych (YermilovCentre), Ilya Zabolotnyi (British Council). Exhibition educational programme curator: Anastasia Khlestova (Kharkiv Municipal Gallery).

“Art changes us and lets us better understand one another, find common values and respect our differences. Modern artist residencies are not only a chance to travel, but also to discover new cultural contexts and artistic practices, an opportunity to present yourself and your country to the rest of the world, to gain new experience, and provide an impetus towards artistic and personal growth. The global cross-cultural communication established by artistic residencies is an important element of intercultural dialogue between Ukraine and the UK. I am confident that in working jointly with the British Council in Ukraine we managed to contribute to this process”, — Nataliya Ivanova, Director YermilovCentre.

“We are very pleased with the successful continuation of our SWAP residency programme for artists and curators. For two years now, thanks to productive cooperation with our partners in the UK and Ukraine we have created a unique kaleidoscope of active mutual influences, exchanges, and collaborations involving the cultural environments of each country. This year, we are organising a final exhibition of the results of research conducted jointly by our 2017 residents and our permanent partners, the YermilovCentre in Kharkiv. The central narrative of this exhibition unites organically with an intensive educational programme curated by our partners at the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery. We believe that artistic research, introspection, and demonstration of the possibilities of cultural dialogue and understanding by artistic means are crucial in an age of active social and political change, — Ilya Zabolotnyi, exhibition co-curator, Arts Manager, British Council Ukraine.

YermilovCentre is the partner of the final exhibition of artist residencies SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2017. Kharkiv Municipal Gallery is the partner of the exhibition educational programme.

Follow the link to see the photos from the final exhibition of artist residencies SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2017.

Educational programme

12 March, 18:00 — Stephen Sheehan, Kyung Hwa artist talk — https://www.facebook.com/events/822771207930102/

13 March, 17:00 — Polina Karpova, Vova Vorotniov, Maria Kulikovska round-table — https://www.facebook.com/events/1839961196023178/

14 March, 16:00 — Crit 4.0 with Adam JB Walker, Vicki Thornton — https://www.facebook.com/events/1539655806163172/

17 March, 16:00 — Guided tour through the exhibition + Q&A session — https://www.facebook.com/events/2174393436105453/


SWAP: UK/Ukraine is our annual artist and curator residency programme, run in partnership with Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest contemporary visual arts festival, and working in Ukraine  with the most innovative and experimental visual arts’ organisations across the country. Since its first iteration, in 2016, we have supported 20 residencies (18 for artists, 2 for curators) in Liverpool, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Muzychi, Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, and the Biruchiy Peninsula on the Sea of Azov. SWAP aims to connect artists from both countries and support their professional development and internationalisation. The programme is also designed to give artists the time to research, reflect and explore the UK/Ukraine’s vast artistic traditions.

For more information about the programme visit www.britishcouncil.org.ua/en/programmes/arts/visual-arts/swap

UK-based artists

Kyung Hwa Shon (b.1983, South Korea) is a London-based artist currently undertaking a PhD at RCA, London, who explores the reciprocal relation between a city and the imagination. Her multidisciplinary practice focuses on the rediscovery of psychological heteromorphic identification, the presence of invisible substance, and fantastic visual experiences emanating from serendipitous moments of glitch in the city. Kyung Hwa travelled to Kharkiv to take part in a residency at YermilovCentre (August — September 2017).

Stephen Sheehan (b. 1986, Birkenhead, UK) lives and works in Birkenhead. Sheehan obtained a first class BA (Hons) Degree at Wirral Metropolitan College in Fine Art before obtaining a distinction MA Degree in Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University. Stephen predominantly works with performance, film and video to comment upon and express the absurd, beautiful, fragile and transient existence he finds himself in, while having a particular interest in human mortality and repetition. Stephen has taken part part in a residency at the Municipal Art Gallery in Kharkiv (August — September 2017). Stephen Sheehan is a Liverpool Biennial Associate Artist.

Vicki Thornton (b. 1981, Derby, UK) is an artist and filmmaker working between the cinema and the gallery. Her work combines documentary and fiction filmmaking approaches to examine relationships between place, memory, performance and identity. Recent film presentations include Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic (2017); PÖFF Black Nights, Tallinn, Estonia; DOKLeipzig, Germany; Cambridge Film Festival, UK; Alchemy Moving Image Festival, Scotland; and Clermont-Ferrand, France (all 2016). Graduating from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011, she is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. Vicki had a Kyiv-based residency with Izolyatsia. Platform for Culture Initiatives (September — October 2017).

Adam J B Walker (b. 1983, Brussels, Belgium) is based in London. He obtained an MA in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts. Within his research-based practice Walker looks to open up questions around labour and production and how they may or may not be deemed valuable, worthwhile or meaningful. He employs a wide variety of media, with text, performance and video being most frequently returned to. Adam has travelled to Kyiv to have a residency at the Soshenko 33 Art Studios (September — October 2017).

Ukraine-based artists

Polina Karpova (b. 1992, Kharkiv, Ukraine) is an artist working with photography, based in Kharkiv. A graduate of the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts in 2013 with MA in Art History. Karpova follows the continuity of the famous Kharkiv school of photography, which brings irony to traditional views on the local  environment. She has worked in photography since 2009, focusing on the research of unique human beauty and interaction with industrial city landscapes.

Maria Kulikovska (b. 1988, Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine) is an artist, architect, actionist, and curator. She is a graduate of the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv (MA in Architecture, 2013) and the Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Stockholm (2016). In her arduous performance,s Kulikovska explores not only her body’s limits and fragility but also women’s bodies in public space. Her work is also influenced by the political situation in Ukraine, where she addresses the conflict with Russia, the annexation of her homeland Crimea, and the problems of displaced persons in Ukraine.

Anton Lapov (b. 1984, Luhansk, Ukraine) is an artist, independent curator, and museologist (currently relocated in Kyiv). He graduated from the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (MA in Prehistory and Archaeology) and from the New Art School (course “Media-art for practitioners”, Kyiv, 2013). He is the Coordinator of media art collective Art-cluster R+N+D and is the organiser of various events in the field of experimental electronic music, media art and museological research. Throughan historical perspective, Lapov explores connections between past and present, the relevance of the outdated (in particular, post-soviet) work in the contemporary world, as well as connections between art and artefacts with geographic and social units.

Vova Vorotniov (b. 1979, Chervonohrad, Ukraine) is an artist based in Kyiv. His background is in graffiti subculture and ars humanitas studies in the Philosophy Department at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”. Vorotniov works with photography, installation, public art, performance etc. His fields of interest range from identity issues in modern day Ukraine and the so-called decommunisation processes to the (mis)function of the Soviet public space, flâneur and psycho-geography practices and the re-use of local folk art museums in a contemporary context.