The British Council and Liverpool Biennial have announced the participants for the second SWAP: UK/Ukraine Artist Residency Programme 2017. Four UK-based artists have taken part in short residencies in Ukraine hosted by partners in Kharkiv and Kyiv in August-October 2017, while four Ukrainian artists had their Liverpool-based residencies curated by Liverpool Biennial in September — October 2017.

This is the second iteration of the SWAP: UK/Ukraine Artist Residency Programme, organised by the British Council in Ukraine in partnership with Liverpool Biennial and in collaboration with various Ukrainian and UK visual arts institutions: Mystetskyi Arsenal, Izolyatsia. Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Soshenko 33 Art Studios, YermilovCentre, Kharkiv Municipal Art Gallery, Bluecoat, FACT and Open Eye Gallery. The programme aims to connect artists from Ukraine and the UK and support their professional development and internationalisation.

Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “Collaboration and artistic development are at the heart of what Liverpool Biennial does and we are thrilled to see the results of this timely artistic exchange between Ukraine and UK in partnership with the British Council. Moreover, for another year running, we are excited to provide opportunities for UK-based artists to spend time developing their practice with some of Ukraine’s leading visual arts spaces.”

Pablo Rossello, Director Arts Development (the British Council in Ukraine), said: “We’re very excited to see the programme run again and to be able to support UK and Ukrainian artists internationalise their practice through collaborations with Liverpool Biennial and the most innovative visual arts’ institutions in Ukraine and Liverpool.”

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 performances 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.