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'In our paradise...': Ukrainian photography exhibition opens at the Saatchi Gallery
Oleksandr Babak and Anatol Stepaneko, Wasteland – Abandon Home (series), 2012. C Type print, 76 x 102cms. © Oleksandr Babak and Anatol Stepaneko. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London.
LONDON.- The Firtash Foundation has announced a three year patronage of the Saatchi Gallery, one of the world’s most renowned contemporary art galleries.

The first exhibition, opened on 10th July as part of this new partnership, is “In our paradise...”celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the renowned Ukrainian Poet, Taras Shevchenko. Originally curated by Galina Skliarenko, for the National Academy of Arts in Kiev, the show highlights some of the challenges encountered by Ukraine over the last few decades, including the most recent unrest faced by its people. The exhibition brings together recent photography by Oleksandr Babak and Anatol Stepanenko, Victor Marushchenko, Tiberiy Silvashi and Anna Voitenko.

This is the first in a series of exhibitions at the Gallery aimed at showcasing Ukraine’s unique culture and heritage to an international audience in London. The partnership, agreed in 2014, gives talented, emerging Ukrainian artists the opportunity to exhibit some of their work in one of the foremost contemporary galleries in the world until 10th August . "In our paradise..." is the second collaboration between the Saatchi Gallery and Firtash Foundation and follows the success of Contemporary Ukrainian Artists, the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Ukrainian contemporary art in the UK, which was held at the Gallery in October 2013 as part of the Days of Ukraine in the UK festival.

Ukraine has one of the most vibrant art scenes in the former Soviet Union. The artists in the launch exhibition and those to be profiled in future exhibitions over the next three years, have all played a vital role in the development of Ukrainian art and culture over the last twenty or so years.

LadaFirtash, Director of the Firtash Foundation, said: "We are honoured to announce our patronage of the Saatchi Gallery, which has shown great enthusiasm and support for our project to help educate the international community about the unique cultural and artistic history of Ukraine. The exhibition showcases various themes and techniques developed by artists from Kiev and beyond. The works address real life issues which I think the British public will relate to. The Saatchi Gallery is world renowned for its support ofcontemporary artists and it is a privilege to be working with them on this, and many other, exciting projects in the future ."

Nigel Hurst, CEO of the Saatchi Gallery, said: “Following our successful collaboration with the Firtash Foundation last year, we are delighted to announce this three year patronage. Many people in the UK will be aware of the immense social and political change that is occurring in Ukraine at the moment, but few will be aware of the trulyvibrant contemporary art scene and unique cultural history of the country. The Saatchi Gallery prides itself on providing a platform for international, contemporary artists and we are honoured to begin our partnership with the Firtash Foundation by exhibiting the thought provoking “In Our Paradise”* exhibition.





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