From Wednesday to Saturday, 14 volunteers will present one of the best exhibitions of contemporary art Glasgow has seen in years. What is amazing is that most of these people also host Ukrainian refugees.
Led by award-winning painter Rosemary Beaton, they persuaded many leading British artists to donate their work to a major fundraiser to help families and children affected by war in Ukraine. The target is £50,000.
The artist’s response has been phenomenal. ANDY GOLDSWORTHY MADE A NEW DRAWING of a tree growing above a burnt-out reservoir – for a future memorial, “it’s unlikely to ever come to fruition but having the idea is important – at least to me. ” It mirrors the work he did for the garden of the Manhattan Holocaust Museum: trees growing on huge boulders, which I wrote about for the FT when I was based in New York. Andy emphasized “nature’s ability to survive in impossible circumstances”. His homage to World War II now applies to Ukraine as well. Peter Howson was the UK’s official war artist in Bosnia. His great oil, ‘SLAVA UKRAYINI’ or “Glory to Ukraine!” echoes the official salute of their Armed Forces, a symbol of sovereignty and resistance.
The Queen’s Sculptor in Scotland, Sandy STODDART, chose her favorite image of the river god – “With their world-weary looks and beards – up there with God and Santa!” – to create large circular sculptures and 24 small plates. “People don’t have room for large sculptures, so I’m making small ones especially for this sale.” These celebrate the Ukrainian god of the river, the Dnieper, and echo the work he did years ago. “Ironically for an oligarch’s mega London mansion – rumored to be Putin!” With sunflower crowns and facing Kalashnikovs, these guys are one in the eye of Russia. DAVID MACH quickly joined the project and contributed characteristic collages and new pieces – the Mona Lisa and Rembrandt, made of pinheads! These artists are in high demand in America but retain their homes in Scotland.
Stephen SKRYNKA’s father arrived in London as a refugee from World War II. Caught up by the Germans, he fled to a displacement camp in Belgium run by the British. My father was so grateful to the UK, which he loved very much. He would be heartbroken to see history repeat itself. His family was sent to Siberia and did not know if he was dead or alive for another thirteen years. The prospect of today’s nightmare darkened Skrynka’s childhood. To Support for artists Ukraine, Stephen Skrynka shows photos of his father protesting outside the Russian Embassy in the 1960s. Earlier this year, Skrynka mounted his own handmade Revelator Wall of Death to raise money for Ukraine and organizes there now exhibitions and artistic events. Made entirely without nails during lockdown, this 16ft-tall structure took two years to build. The performer taught himself how to perform the stunt. He says the learning process is “long, slow and painful!”
The 100 artists, including Barbara Rae, Callum Innes, Adrian Wiszniewski and Ken Currie. Victoria Morton and Andy Scott generously donate 100% to 60% of the prize. It’s a show that could easily be at Kelvingrove or Tramway. Proceeds will go to the British Red Cross and OPORA.
Top Photo: ORGANIZER ARTIST ROSEMARY BEATON
Aid to Artists Ukraine, Glasgow
- From Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 June, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- The center of the Pentagon
- Washington Street
- Glasgow G3 8AZ