The British Council opens its 2019 exhibition season with the presentation of the work of our SWAP: UK/UKRAINE residents. Nine artists and one curator participated in artistic residences held in Ukraine and the UK in 2018. The results of their visual research will be open to the public at Museum of Odesa Modern Art from 22 February through 31 March.

That this year's final SWAP project is being hosted in Odesa is no accident. Odesa is a twin city of Liverpool, England, home to one of the UK’s largest and most influential exhibitions of contemporary art - the Liverpool Biennale. The Biennale team supervised the Ukrainian SWAP participants during their artistic residencies in the UK. The decision to hold the closing of SWAP: UK/UKRAINE in Odesa was deliberate – to promote the city’s participation in the global cultural dialogue, stimulate the local cultural landscape and illustrate the path of decentralisation.

The title of the exhibit – Fragile State – references the political, emotional and social context reflected in the work of the nine Ukrainian and British SWAP artists – Anna Kakhiani, Nikolay Karabinovych, Victoria Myronyuk, Dana Venezia, Helen Flanagan, Jaimini Patel, Martim Ramos, Riccardo Matlakas, Susannah Stark.

The closing exhibition curatorial team – Ilya Zabolotnyi (British Council) and Lina Romanuka (IZOLYATSIA Foundation) told us:  "When we started working on the final exhibition, we soon noted that all the resident artists were appealing to varying degrees of vulnerability in their work, to uncertainty and sudden, frightening expectations of change. The range of these experiences encompasses both personal physical experiences, emotions, hidden traumas, and global geopolitical challenges: militarization, territorial demarcation and the crisis of established social paradigms. In the works presented in this exhibition the artists are working with a broad spectrum of expressive methods: video installations, sound compositions, graphic works, texts, objects and photography. Some put their bodies to use for artistic reflection and one has included the model of a tank in a piece."

"The global cross-cultural communication created through artistic residences is an important part of international dialogue. Cooperation between countries as different as United Kingdom and Ukraine provides a base for interesting reflection and innovation in culture generally and in contemporary visual art in particular."  Semen Kantor, director, Museum of Odesa Modern Art.

"For the third year in a row, due to productive collaboration with our partners in both the UK and Ukraine we have been able to create a unique kaleidoscope of lively interaction, exchange and cooperation between the cultural sectors of our two countries. In our opinion, artistic research, reflection and a demonstration of the ability to foster friendly dialogue and understanding among people by artistic means is vital in this time of active socio-political change." Simon Williams, Director of the British Council in Ukraine.

SWAP: UK/Ukraine is an annual residency programme for artists and curators administered by the British Council Ukraine. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Liverpool Biennale – the UK’s largest contemporary art festival and Ukraine’s leading innovative and experimental art venues. Since the programme launch 2016, 30 residencies (27 artists and 3 curators) were supported in the cities of Liverpool, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, Muzych, Uzhhorod and the Byriuchyi Peninsula in the Azov Sea. The objective of SWAP is to bring artists from both countries together and support their development in an international environment. The programme also provides artists with time for research and reflexion and study of British and Ukrainian artistic traditions.

Exhibition Opening 22 February, 7:00 p.m.
Partner for SWAP: UK/UKRAINE artistic residency final exhibition – Museum of Odesa Modern Art.

Museum of Odesa Modern Art
5 Belinskoho St., Odesa

Exhibition Schedule:

Wednesday - Saturday: 12:00 - 19:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
Monday – Tuesday: closed
Admittance to the exhibition is free of charge.

During the exhibition, parallel educational events will be offered including artist talks and guided excursions of the exhibition. Learn more on our Facebook Events page. 

For more programme and the educational programme information about the exhibition click here.

UK-based artists

Dana Venezia (b. 1983, Jerusalem) is a London-based artist. She graduated with a BA in art and interdisciplinary studies from the Tel Aviv University and with an MFA from the Royal College of Arts. Dana’s work is predominantly film based, exploring the versatile boundaries between fiction and documentary. Disclosing moments of intimacy and fragility through the lives of the local communities and the displaced, Venezia calls spectators to reflect on their identities and sense of belonging, questioning their cultural conditioning and nationhood. Dana Venezia travelled to Lviv, Ukraine for a residency at the Jam Factory Art Centre during September-October 2018. 

Helen Flanagan (b. 1988, Birmingham, UK) is an artist based between Birmingham, UK and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Helen received a Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design, Photography at AKV St Joost, Breda, Netherlands and BA in Photography at Falmouth University of Arts, UK.  Her work combines real events with fictional narratives to produce video, sound, and installation. By constructing and imagining scenarios, often employing the absurd, she looks to investigate social structures and the political subtext of the everyday, focusing on emotions, labour and hidden trauma. Helen spent her residency at the Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives in Kyiv during November-December 2018.

Jaimini Patel (b. 1974, London, UK) is a London-based artist who has completed a BA with honours in Fine Art at the University of Leeds, a MA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and doctorate in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. In her work, Jaimini investigates the agency and potential of matter via a negotiation of boundaries, systems and performative acts. Jaimini travelled to Kharkiv, Ukraine for her residency at the YermilovCentre in August-September 2018. 

Martim Ramos (b. 1983, Lisbon, Portugal) is a London-based artist working largely with photography and film. He has a BA in the History of Art and has recently graduated from a course in Photography at the Royal College of Art, London. His practice addresses the concepts of trauma, memory, and representation. In his work he employs a range of source material including found images and objects, literature, photography and film as well as methods of appropriation and intervention, working at the threshold between documentation and fiction. Martim spent his residency in Lviv at the Centre for Urban History during September-October 2018. 

Riccardo Matlakas (b.1982, Naples, Italy) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work employs elements of performance, dance, painting and sculpture. He obtained a degree in Sculpture at the Naples University of Fine Arts and an MA in Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University. Riccardo creates cathartic actions and performances addressing contemporary political, environmental and spiritual concerns by investing the core of humanity that reaches beyond mere race and custom. He collects articles shaped during his performances as objects of memory and reflection. Riccardo spent his residency at the Kharkiv Municipal Art Gallery in August-September 2018  

Susannah Stark (b. 1988, Dundee, UK) lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds an MA in the graphic arts from the Royal College of Art, London. Her work is an ongoing exploration of women’s public voice and its historical and contemporary pertinence. Working with voice, print and digital media she combines the economic, cultural, spiritual and personal in a narrative illustrating the contradictions of contemporary life. Susannah spent October-November 2018 in residency in  Odesa, Ukraine at the Odesa Museum of Modern Art. 

Ukraine-based artists

Anna Kakhiani (b. 1991, Kovel, Ukraine) lives and works in Kyiv. She earned a Master's degree in marketing and advertising (2013) at the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics. Since 2015 she has participated in the arts programmes "Studio Visit" and "New Art School: Liquid City" by Cultural Project, the theatrical group "Truth/Perspective”. She has completed the "Artist" сourse at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts (2016). In her projects, Anna focuses on her personal experiences and concerns employing a range of media in her work including installation, video, and film. She touches of the topics of psychological states, memory and corporeality, alterations of personal perceptions of public and other spaces. Anna completed her residency in Liverpool during November-December 2018.

Nikolay Karabinovych (b. 1988, Odesa, Ukraine) lives and works between Kyiv and Odesa. In 2011 he graduated from the Philosophy Department of the Odesa Mechnikov National University. In his art he works with video, text, sound and performative approaches in an examination of categories of place and time. Karabinovych pursues the "changing identities" of post-socialist eastern Europe with considerable interest, focusing on clashes between recent nationalist movements and contradictions in historical narratives. Another important aspect of his work involves working with the musical archive as a universally available resource for the study of change in our contemporary political, historical and social context. Nikolay spent his residency in Liverpool during November-December 2018.

Victoria Myronyuk (b. 1985, Kolomia, Ukraine) is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in performance and theatre, among other disciplines. She received a Master's Degree in Cultural Theory at NaUKMA (Kyiv), a Master of Arts in the Performing Arts and Visual Culture (Madrid), as well as a postgraduate programme in performance and scenography studies (Brussels). Victoria is engaged in work at the intersection of performative, participatory and visual artistic practice that explores issues of ritual structures, their boundaries and possibilities. Victoria completed her Liverpool residency in November-December 2018.

Ukrainian curator in residence

Lina Romanukha (b. 1985, Rivne, Ukraine) is an art-manager and curator. She received her master's degree in cultural science from NaUKMA and has worked at a number of artistic institutions including the Les Kurbas Centre for the Theatrical Arts, Karas Gallery, and the PinchukArtCentre. Following her residency at the Delfina Foundation (London, UK) she went to work at the IZOLYATSIA Foundation – Cultural Initiative Platform as a project manager, serving as curator for the “ART WEDNESDAY” project and overseeing the Foundation’s international residency programme. Lina spent her residency in Liverpool during November-December 2018.

Parallel programme

To be announced shortly