A moving new art installation that portrays the one-way journey of escape that many Ukrainians have taken since the full-scale Russian invasion started is getting ready to debut at Liverpool Cathedral.
Ukrainian artist Katya Buchatska’s Izyum to Liverpool opens on April 28 and is free to view untill May 19.
In her first UK exhibition, Buchatska gives a moving explanation of why Liverpool, not Ukraine, is hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Izyum to Liverpool, a production of the EuroFestival cultural programme that runs from May 1–14 in preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest, takes viewers on an engrossing tour of the present-day Ukrainian landscape.
The multi-channel video installation, which was shot in real-time on a 24-hour train journey from Izyum, eastern Ukraine, to the border with Poland, gives visitors the impression that they are riding in a train carriage leaving Ukraine.
Izyum to Liverpool shines a light on liberated Ukrainian cities, where buildings have been decimated by bombing and artillery fire, as well as providing views of seemingly calmer Western cities, demonstrating how quickly normal life can change. The deeply moving piece of art honours the tenacity and fortitude of the Ukrainian people.
Speaking on Izyum to Liverpool, her most ambitious installation to date, Katya Buchatska, said:
“For many, the train is the only means to escape war. Railway workers are considered heroes, risking their lives to help people travel out of the country.”
“Izyum to Liverpool is about the fragility of our environment, our lives and of the landscape surrounding us. It is about the loss of certainties, of home, without knowing if you will ever be able to return. It is a one-way journey. It provokes a shift in the state of mind. Even if you are farther away from the front line, and in a safer environment, this feeling of loss and uncertainty stays with you.”
The Dean of Liverpool, The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, said:
“It’s a huge honour for the city of Liverpool to be hosting The Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine and we’re looking forward to showcasing such a poignant Ukrainian artwork at Liverpool Cathedral during EuroFestival.
“We’re extremely grateful to Katya Buchatska, who is based in Kyiv, for this powerful reminder of why the event is happening in Liverpool. I would like to encourage visitors to take a moment for quiet contemplation as we reflect on the plight of the Ukrainian people.”
Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan, said:
“When we first read the proposal for Izyum to Liverpool we were floored by its powerful representation of the everyday in Ukraine through the medium of a train journey. Recreating this will be incredibly impactful, and given the stunning surroundings of Liverpool Cathedral, it will make it a sobering experience that will really resonate with visitors.
“Working with Katya has been a real pleasure and she is an incredible ambassador for her country and its people.”
For more information about Izyum to Liverpool and the wider events programme at Liverpool Cathedral you can visit liverpoolcathedral.org.uk