Veronika Yakobchuk & Yelyzaveta Merkotan

Photographers, graphic designer and filmmaker

ResidencyA.I.Gallery, London, UK

Hosting periodSummer 2022

Veronika Yakobchuk is a Ukrainian graphic designer and photographer and Yelyzaveta Merkotan is a Ukrainian photographer and filmmaker. They had this to say about their residencies:

“I, Yakobchuk Veronika, and my colleague Yelyzaveta Merkotan worked in the artistic field in Ukraine. The war took away our jobs and separated us from our families. After the start of the war, we went abroad and looked for every opportunity. 

We were very lucky to become a part of the Artists at Risk-UNESCO residency. Many thanks to the whole organisation, and especially to [AR-Matchmaker] Olena Shulga and [Host] Anne-Marie Tong for their great support and help. This experience greatly influenced us as artists. 

With Anne-Marie’s support, we opened the WAR EPISODES exhibition, which allowed us to express our thoughts and hopefully turn people’s attention to the events in Ukraine. In this exhibition, we wanted to share our reflections on the events that changed the lives of every Ukrainian. 

The main themes of the exhibition were emotional swings and different stages of the psychological experience of being a war witness. Visitors could also donate to the army of Ukraine, and we are very grateful for that. Anna-Marie gave us the opportunity to be present at the opening of a separate exhibition, where we got to know the artists and authors of the works, and got the experience of communicating with visitors and presenting the works. It was a huge gift for us to have the opportunity to work in a space where we could be creative together. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are very grateful for it. I am sure that we will use this experience for the future of Ukraine.”