As Ukrainians fight to survive, a unique art project aims to fill Melbourne with art dedicated to their struggle.
From a million miles away, a small group of members and friends of the Ukrainian community have come together to send a message to their friends and family in the invaded nation – we want to dedicate something beautiful to you.
The project, known as Art4UkraineAus is a collaboration between the local Ukrainian community and some of Melbourne’s best artists. It will create a series of murals and paintings around the streets of the city that reflect the pain, the fight, and the beauty of Ukraine in this unfathomable invasion.
Group member Stefan Bugryn, says,
“As a community, our hearts are collectively bleeding, and we are sort of mourning
together as a group. The worst part of this trauma is feeling helpless so far away. Despite
our location, we know we can help through art, by creating something that can be seen
and heard throughout the world.’
Another group member, Belinda Morris, also says,
“Watching the devastation happening in Ukraine right now and trying to find ways to help
as an artist, volunteering for the project was the least I could do. We want to avoid this
invasion becoming just another news story that is relegated to page 13. Using art to
bring back the focus to the struggle of the Ukrainian people is a great way to keep this
story at the forefront. And I know from personal experience that many artists want to
show their support of Ukraine and their anger at the Russian aggressor Putin.“
The first mural is already up, and can be seen by anyone at the corner of Johnston Street and Wellington Street in Collingwood, created by duo Creature Creature.
They have said,
“We are honoured to create this mural in support of peace for our Ukrainian friends and
the Ukrainian Club here in Melbourne. We wanted to depict strength, grace and unity in
the midst of chaos and destruction. Ukraine has highlighted this plight of war and
displacement, which we should stand against in all parts of the world.”
On the side of the spiritual home of Ukrainians in Melbourne, Ukrainian House in Essendon, prolific artist David “MEGGS” Hooke and Clare Brady are preparing to create something iconic for new Ukrainian arrivals.
Located just opposite the busy Essendon Station, the House has been the home for any major local Ukrainian event for decades, and continues to be the centre of everything as the crisis develops.
The artists have said,
“It’s hard to feel anything but helpless, watching the horrors of this war on screens from
so far away. The opportunity to use art to spread a message of hope and love was one
we both felt very compelled to be a part of.
The pen, after all, is mightier than the sword. Love conquers hate. We wanted to use our
brushes, hearts and minds to not only show solidarity, but to boost morale and hope for
the people of Ukraine.”
Murals and artworks will continue to pop up around the city in the coming weeks, and will be highlighted on the new Facebook page @Art4UkraineAus.
The initiative is coupled with the community’s primary fundraiser, Ukraine Crisis Appeal, which has already raised in excess of $2M+ AUD for humanitarian aid. Each mural and artwork will have a QR code that directs traffic directly to the official website to help with raising funds.
Art For Ukraine Exhibition
The group is not stopping with street art, and in partnership with Off the Kerb Gallery in
Collingwood, they are launching an art exhibition, with all proceeds from art sales going to the
Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
The exhibition will be officially launched on Thursday 28th April, and will feature one-off works
from the following artists;
David Lee Pereira
The exhibition will be running for 2 weeks and will conclude in mid May.
More details can be found at Off the Kerb’s Instagram page and Facebook here.
Who are We?
We are a group of active members of the Ukrainian community in Australia, and board members of the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria. We all have relatives, friends, and loved ones in Ukraine. We are proud of our identity and heritage, and all we want is peace for Ukraine.
The team is as follows:
Stefan Bugryn – firstname.lastname@example.org | 040101795
Andrew Laba – email@example.com
Daniel Stefyn – firstname.lastname@example.org
Belinda Jane Morris – email@example.com
Lesia Rudewych – firstname.lastname@example.org
Roman Korchev – email@example.com
The Association of Ukrainians in Victoria congratulates the Art4UkraineAus team and thanks them for their initiative to present Ukraine to the Australian community in an inspiring way. Please support the project by following it on Facebook and attending the Exhibition Fundraiser on April 28th 2022!