Art that saves lives in Ukraine
January 2024 saw the launch of ArtArmor in London, the first time an exhibition which saves lives in Ukraine has travelled to the UK, after visiting Poland, Sweden and Germany.
NP Aerospace and The High Commission of Canada in the UK, organised the exhibition for charity Ukraine for Heroes, at the High Commission of Canada Gallery in Trafalgar Square from 19th to 31st January to highlight the work the UK, Canada and NATO allies are doing to support Ukraine. The exhibition was timed to coincide with the month before the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
The ArtArmor exhibition showcased 50 body armour plates that saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers in battle and were then turned into iconic pieces of art. It included a children’s collection with plates painted by 12–15-year-olds, ‘Spiritual Victory’, an Orthodox style collection which included plates that were shown at NP Aerospace last year during the visit from Ukraine Ambassador and the main immersive exhibition with video from the frontline. The exhibition was open to the public and we are seeing many positive references on social media.
James Kempston, CEO NP Aerospace comments “This exhibition was extremely important for Ukraine and to raise awareness that the conflict is still ongoing. We need to understand that there are normal Ukrainian people defending Europe’s borders with their lives, every single day. They need our continuous support and we need theirs.”
Visitors of the exhibition commented “The Childrens collection is proof that it is the whole population of a country that suffer, not just those defending the border. The artworks that hit home the hardest are ‘A Stolen Childhood’, ‘The Heart of a Hero’, and ‘Home with the Victory’.”
As part of the exhibition, NP Aerospace and the High Commission of Canada, along with the Embassy of Ukraine in the UK invited contacts across the defence, corporate, media and art world to an official VIP event on 25th January. More than 150 people attended. There was also a private viewing for media. The objective of the events was to raise awareness and funds for the Ukraine Armed Forces through an online auction of the plates which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
The key speakers were as followers:
- Hon Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner of Canada
- Rt Hon Earl of Minto, representing UK Ministry of Defence
- James Kempston, CEO, NP Aerospace
- Eduardo Fesko, Chargé, Embassy of Ukraine to the UK
- Daniil Menshykov, Adviser to the Minister of Strategic Industries
- Serhiy Uryn, CEO McCann Kyiv
The Hon Ralph E Goodale, High Commissioner of Canada in the UK, commented “Ukrainians WILL FIGHT for all of that – for as long as it takes. And as they do – they form the ‘front line’ for democracy, human rights and the rule of law everywhere in the world. Freedom-loving people must stand with them – for as long as it takes – undivided, undistracted, unambiguous and unyielding.”
James Kempston, CEO NP Aerospace stated “This art has saved the lives of Ukrainians. It has travelled miles, worn with bravery, felt courage, seen hope. It’s taken on a new shape, transformed into art with stories unimaginable.”
One of the ArtArmor children’s painted plates was donated to the UK Government to hold at one of its sites across the UK. The Ukraine flag which has flown at the Canadian High Commission since the Ukraine war started was also presented to the ArtArmor team.
Full press coverage from the exhibition opening and VIP event can be found here:
ADS Advance – ArtArmor heads to London
Ukrainian armour becomes battle-scarred art exhibit as Russia-Ukraine war rages on | Watch News
Life-saving body armour from Ukraine frontline transformed into art – YouTube
Videos Online (globalnews.ca)
ArtArmor – Culture Canada