Entitled 365th February, the exhibition was inaugurated by His Excellency, Mgr. Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Apostolic Nuncio for Malta, in the presence of Fr. Paul Formosa SDB, Provincial of the Salesian Vice-Province of Malta and Mr. Bryan Magro, President of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.
The exhibition features artworks of Ukrainian artists from the Artists Support Ukraine (ASU) Foundation, and other works by a Ukrainian artist living in Malta, conveying the sufferings endured by the Ukrainian people. Together with the artworks, a short film was created to raise awareness of the ongoing war in Ukraine among Maltese residents. Visitors are invited to express their thoughts and emotions on their experience through different artistic means; in drawing, writing, or leaving their print on canvas.
ASU realizes its mission through Ready-To-Print exhibitions shown across the world to support the Ukrainian cultural community and collect donations for the artists. Similar exhibitions have already been set up in various art galleries, cultural centres, and universities across Europe. In Malta, the exhibition will be open until Sunday 26th February, and admission is free of charge.
The short film launched at this exhibition recounts the fictional story of a Ukrainian vlogger and how her life changed with the start of the war. It expresses the afflictions and emotional sufferings Ukrainian people are enduring during these times. The video can be seen on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhfpzxFh3Ac
Speaking at the exhibition launch, Mgr. Hon Tai-Fai expressed Pope Francis’ closeness to the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Referring to the passage from the Book of Isaiah, “The wolf and the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid” Mgr. Hon Tai-Fai, invited those present to foster attitudes of peace and love, in the face of indifference and hostility. The Apostolic Nuncio asked God’s blessing on the artists and the visitors of the exhibition, that they will always be beacons of encounter, love and peace in moments of darkness.
Fr. Robert Falzon SDB, from the Salesian Missions sector, remarked that faced by this human tragedy, humanity is at a loss for words. However, he remarked, Art is an opportunity to convey a strong message which never dies; that of hope.
The organisers seek to continue to raise awareness of the ongoing war in Ukraine by setting the exhibition up in schools and individual groups across Malta, with the possibility of conducting workshops and discussions on the value of peace. Interested groups are encouraged to contact the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco.