ArtArmor: London’s First Public Art Exhibition That Saves Lives in Ukraine

ArtArmor: London’s First Public Art Exhibition That Saves Lives in Ukraine
19th to 31st January 2024 (11am to 5.54pm, Monday to Saturday)
*Open Call for U.K Artists To Turn Armour into Art*

Pictured left to right: Invite to exhibition showing painted armour plate, orthodox style ‘spiritual icon’ painted plate, soldiers wearing NP Aerospace body armour in Ukraine.

A unique art exhibition showing armour that has saved the lives of Ukrainians is heading to London for the first time to the High Commission of Canada Gallery on Trafalgar Square from 19th to 31st January 2024.

The ArtArmor exhibition in the U.K. is a charity initiative organised in partnership with Ukraine For Heroes, NP Aerospace, the High Commission of Canada and the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.K. to highlight the vital importance of ongoing support to Ukraine from countries around the world1.

ArtArmor is a collection of 50 body armour plates, from manufacturers including NP Aerospace, that have been worn by Ukrainians and saved their lives by stopping bullets. Each plate returned from the frontline has been transformed into iconic pieces of art by talented Ukrainian artists or children to tell their story of war. The exhibition has so far toured Poland, Germany and Sweden and is heading to the U.K. just one month before the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

The exhibition is the brainchild of Ukrainian Member of Parliament Oleksandr Kovalchuk, Founder of ArtArmor and the charity ‘Ukraine for Heroes’2. Kovalchuk noted that “ArtArmor gets to the heart of what is going on in our country and expresses the thoughts of our brave and creative people. The terrifying marks from bullets and shrapnel that these plates stopped in battle tells the story of the ongoing war in Ukraine better than words. Countries like the U.K., Canada and the U.S. have done a huge amount to support the frontline with lifesaving kit and we extend our gratitude.”

President Zelenskyy signing one of the plates

Following the exhibition, the ArtArmor team will hold an art auction aimed at raising funds to purchase additional protective equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thereby, their mission of art saving lives will be realized. They are also looking for U.K. artists to get on board with the initiative by turning further armour plates into pieces of art.

His Excellency The Honourable Ralph E. Goodale, PC, High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom, said: “The High Commission of Canada in the U.K. is proud to present this unique exhibition in its Canada Gallery, a dedicated gallery space in the heart of London. I can think of no better place to showcase body armour plates turned into iconic pieces of art that saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers – literally. Canada deeply admires the bravery and courage of Ukrainians who are fighting to defend their independence and freedom, and we will continue to work closely with our Allies and partners to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty and security. I look forward to welcoming many visitors to this exquisite exhibition in support of Ukraine.”

James Kempston, CEO of NP Aerospace, said: “As a key supporter to Ukraine3, collaborating with ArtArmor, the High Commission of Canada and the Ukraine Embassy to the U.K. is an absolute honour. It enables us to highlight the amazing job that companies from around the world are doing to support the frontline but also helps ArtArmor to bring the plates to auction, in order to give them a second chance to save lives.”

  1. Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $2.4 billion in military assistance donations to Ukraine. The UK is also a significant donor having committed £4.6bn in military assistance to Ukraine so far, including £2.3bn in 2022 and a commitment to match that funding in 2023
  2. Charity Foundation ‘Ukraine for Heroes’ has delivered humanitarian support to de-occupied territories during the conflict equating to approximately 10 million USD
  3. NP Aerospace is a key supporter to Ukraine, having supplied 150,000 body armour plates and other lifesaving kit such as ballistic helmets since the war started