Gallery: Estonian-Ukrainian art exhibition 'TRIGGER' opens in Tartu

"Päästik / Тригер / Trigger," a specially curated exhibition of works by artists in Ukraine, was opened at tARTu Art Gallery on Tuesday, featuring pieces by 38 artists in Ukraine and guest works by another seven Estonian artists.

The exhibition was curated remotely by Viktoria, an artist currently still located in Ukraine, together with the team behind Ukrainian contemporary art festival "Mycelium." Due to safety concerns, the Ukrainian artists participated in the opening on Tuesday night by voice only, as many of them are living in parts of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia.

Speaking at the opening, Viktoria said that Ukraine's artists are heroes in their own right, just like the local army, fighting in Ukraine and even internationally against full-scale war — but they are armed not with weapons, but with paintbrushes and pencils.

tARTu Art Gallery founder Raul Oreškin, who has been in near daily correspondence with Viktoria since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in late February, said that the best part about this exhibition being opened in Tartu is the fact that, despite the full-scale war going on in Ukraine right now, its artists are able to continue working in their field — i.e. creating art.

"No less important is the fact that the public in Estonia can view these war experiences translated into art in a safe environment, and support Ukrainian artists by buying these pieces," he added.

"Each of these artists has witnessed crimes against humanity, and strives to share their own history through the prism of their personal worldview in their own language of art," a description of "Trigger" published on NOBA reads. "Every of these works is full of courage and resoluteness to share secret feelings and the inner world that the war has turned upside down. These stories can seem minor on the global scale, but they are very important — moreover they are alive."

Additional money to support artists in Kherson

The tARTu Store raised money on Estonian crowdfunding platform Hooandja to pay for the exhibition. Oreškin noted on Facebook on Sunday that while the target amount of €3,200 had already been met and even exceeded, every additional euro donated by the campaign deadline would be directed to a fund supporting artists in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson.

By its conclusion at midnight that same night, a total of €3,934 had been raised via the exhibition's Hooandja campaign.

"Päästik / Тригер / Trigger" will remain open at tARTu Art Gallery (Kastani 42, Tartu) through Saturday, July 2.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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