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Beyond the barricades and battles in Kyiv - the art of Ukraine

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Beyond the barricades and battles in Kyiv - the art of Ukraine

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Artists in Ukraine have captured their stories of the conflict in their country on canvas.

Some set up temporary studios at the centre of the protests in Independence Square to paint each historic moment in their art.

Marina Sochenko is one of them. Protesting and painting has filled her days, sometimes she has done both at the same time.

Her subjects used to be flowers but after taking part in a protest with her son her art changed. She became obsessed with capturing every aspect of the revolution.

“This is what an artist should do. You have to paint what touches you. And then it is going to touch other people,” she said.

At the height of the protests a group called The Maidan Artists was set up. Tanya Cheprasova who is an artist and teacher at the Ukrainian Art Academy spent most of the winter painting and protesting.

She worked on canvas but also painted the helmets worn by protesters in their battles with the police.

“I want to show that there is not only war but there is also beauty left in things after the revolution,” she explained.

At the National Art Museum of Ukraine the “(R) Evolution” exhibition has on show collages by the French photographer Eric Bouvet who visited Kyiv three times during the months of protests.

His pictures depict the mayhem, the chaos, but also regular life in the times of revolution.

“Art is in the political sphere especially contemporary art. So we cannot be apart from what has happened,” opined Natalia Shostak of the museum.

Dozens of memorials have been erected to the protesters who died in battle with the police in Independence Square.

History will judge the events in Kyiv and beyond, but when the wounds have healed, the names of the dead forgotten and the conflict discussed in history classes, it is the art which will remain.

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