Collective creates art to support Ukraine

Creatives and artists from across the South Island are coming together in Wanaka to support Ukraine.

A creative collective has been formed to organise a monthlong art exhibition, ‘‘Aid Through Art’’, which will donate funds directly to three aid organisations in Ukraine.

The creative collective includes painter Olga Zoma, artist Sally-Mae Hudson, illustrator Cris Pliego and filmmaker Whitney Oliver.

The cause is particularly close to home for Olga Zoma, who is from the Sloviansk region in Eastern Ukraine.

‘‘Being so far away from home — all of my relatives are there — it has been hard not being able to help directly. To share the pain and struggle they are going through,’’ she said.

A creative collective (left to right) Whitney Oliver, Sally-Mae Hudson, Cris Pliego and Olga Zoma...
A creative collective (left to right) Whitney Oliver, Sally-Mae Hudson, Cris Pliego and Olga Zoma have created a month long exhibition ‘Aid Through Art’ with funds raised going direct to on the ground aid organisations. Photo: Aspen Bruce

Ms Zoma said the art had been a self therapy, in the times when she was struggling to focus.

‘‘Each day I’m trying to contact my family about if they’re still alive. If they’re OK. You’re overwhelmed with this negativity. This art has helped me feel human again, and not nervous and worried about what’s happening with my family and friends and Ukraine in general.’’

Artist Sally-Mae Hudson said the creative collective came together after feeling overwhelmed by the events in the world.

‘‘We thought we have to do something,’’ she said.

Ms Hudson said they had been impressed by the calibre and support of the artists and local businesses who had joined to make the event possible.

‘‘Everyone is just wanting to help.’’

More than 40 artists from Wanaka, Queenstown and Christchurch contributed to the exhibition.

Wanaka businesses made donations towards the opening night through live music, food and drinks.

The exhibition was on display at the Wanaka Community Centre during May, and pieces were still available to purchase.

Print works were also available online.

Before the launch more than 100 tickets had been sold and door sales were expected to sell out.

 - By Aspen Bruce - aspen.bruce@odt.co.nz

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