RE:CONNECTION – About the virtual residency project


Project reconnection was implemented by Ukrainian artists that are part of Uartist community, a community that was initiated by Art is Us learner Anna Miklashevich. Even though the Art is Us project primarily supported learners from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and Greece, it offered an opportunity for virtual art residency for Ukrainian artists as well. A collective virtual residency project Re:Connection kicked off in the very beginning of 2023 and on the 24th February 2023, on the exact day of one year anniversary since the full scale attack on Ukraine, the results af the virtual art residents were presented in the scope of Ljubljana Art is Us exhibition organised by APIS Institute.


The RE:CONNECTION virtual residency programme has brought together five Ukrainian artists from different parts of the country: KARINA DANYLCHUK, VALERIIA NIKOLAIENKO, EVGENIA POBEREZHNA, ANNA PONOMARENKO and OLHA YEFIMOVA. The artists were united by a common goal to revive their cultural heritage and connect with people around the world through virtual residency. Despite the extremely challenging circumstances in which the artists had to work, they were able to create beautiful pieces of art that reflect their shared values and aspirations.


You can watch the presentation from the Art is Us exhibition here:

This is what the artists wrote about their project: “The RE:CONNECTION project is aimed at reviving the culture of our ancestors and communicating with the peoples of the world using the unique language of painting.

We aim to restore bridges with the Slavic nations in Europe, contact with which was lost during the Soviet Union. And the first step is the revival of the Ukrainian language and ornamental motifs as the cultural code of our nation.

RE:CONNECTION is the rebirth of our heritage, its reinterpretation in today’s circumstances, and acknowledging the value of who we are.

Our group of artists is an example of unity and solidarity. We were all born in different parts of Ukraine (Kyiv, Crimea, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv), and now we have united under a common aegis and idea.

The RE:CONNECTION project is aimed at both Ukrainians and citizens of other countries. We want to convey to the whole world that no one should forget their roots, their language, or their culture. After all, when culture disappears, the nation vanishes too.”

RE:Connect project is therefore not just about reviving the culture of their ancestors and communicating with the world using the unique language of painting. It is also about reclaiming Ukraine’s cultural heritage from those who seek to destroy it. War on Ukraine is not just a war on Ukraine’s people; it is also a war on Ukraine’s culture.



Watercolor artist, born in Mykolaiv region, based in Kyiv. I started my art career in 2018 and in 2021 I showed my artwork at the first exhibition in the Khmelnytskyi region. In 2022 I continue my activity, taking part in Ukrainian and international group exhibitions (Slovenia, Poland).

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Connection isn’t about people only, as well as a war that destroys it. In my collection, I do research about reconnection with the motherland. The heroes of my paintings are European rollers, the bright vulnerable species that live both in the south of Ukraine and Slovenia. The war forced these birds to migrate to a new area. However, when the fighting ends, they will return to

reconnect to their native land. I used ornaments from the “Album of Ukrainian embroidery patterns of 1886” (edition: James G Collins & Associates. Texas, 2022). Although the cross embroidery isn’t authentic for Ukraine, it becomes an integral part of Ukrainian culture and depicts that feeling when everything is in its right place. We’ll also have that feeling when we return home from forced emigration. Connection with the motherland doesn’t fade out for people, birds, and other species.

In 2022 I was forced to change my location too. I moved west of Ukraine, but most of my relatives stayed in Kyiv and Mykolaiv. I still live in the west and wait until I can reconnect with my native land.

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Watercolor artist, born in Kharkiv, based in Lviv. I love to explore light, reflections in water. Being an engineer, I tend to observe the combination of clean lines of architecture and the riot of nature, their connection and connection with history. To do this, I often go to the open air, study the local way of life and how it affects the culture as a whole.


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Window to the North (Window in the Russian World)

A self-portrait with my view from the shelling of the apartment, which is located 35 km from the border. A room with paintings burned to the ground, as points of reference, not only of internal migration but also of immersion in history, ethnos, and life in new places. Immersion in Ukrainian as a countermeasure to Russian violence. Used the Slobozhan pattern.

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  1. VALERIIA NIKOLAIENKO – Palace of Labor

The wounded center of Kharkiv is like an ensemble of buildings from different

periods of history. The center of the work has the central part of the profitable

building, which survived the Second World War but was damaged by Russian



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She was born in 1985 in Crimea. She lives and works in the Kyiv area. In 2007, she received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the Crimean State University of Humanities in Yalta at the Faculty of Arts. Eugenia’s work focuses on people.

Her work delves into certain moments of life, such as childhood, family, growing up, and woman nature. Her primary modes of expression are drawing, oil painting, mixed technique, and collage.

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In 2014, Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula as a result of the military aggression against Ukraine, which continues to this day.


For many years now, I have not been able to get to my beloved Crimea. To my Crimea – the one I cherish, the one I miss, the one I’m waiting for.

Through this project, I decided to focus attention on the cultural heritage of the indigenous people of Crimea – the Crimean Tatars.

That’s why the key theme of my works is Crimean Tatar embroidery, which is definitely a unique phenomenon of world culture. By its themes and symbolism, it is connected with ancient history and with all the civilizations that existed on the Crimean land: Scythian, ancient, and byzantine.

My practical goal was to try to combine my own art techniques with ancient traditional ornaments.

Also, within this project, I strove to restore deep emotional bonds and preserve important memories that connect the past with the present and the future.

As a result, I created four paintings. Each has its own authentic floral ornament, color, and mood. Feeling myself a part of Crimea, its culture, and art, I expressed this through self-portraits that seem to plunge into the nature and space of the peninsula through imaginative memory, my infinite longing, and love.

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I’m mixed media artist, from Kyiv. During the war, I stayed at home with my family and continued to work. I became a volunteer in the Uartist art community. And recently launched the “Artwork gallery” project, with which I plan to promote the art of Ukrainian artists and artists from all over the world by creating exhibitions, publishing a magazine and creating new projects!

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As part of the project, I worked on the topic of heritage. In my work, I used images familiar to every person in the world – these are family connections. This is not just the transfer of the genetic code of knowledge. It is exchanging information and learning about the culture of your environment, family, and people. This is something that is common to all people regardless of race or creed. Generations are connected, have the same knowledge base and exchange experience and create new connections with their environment. I used ornaments as symbolism.

In my work with my grandmother, I used the Viburnum ornament – it is a symbol of the family. For me, this is the wisdom of generations accumulated over the years.

In work with the father, the Oak ornament is used. Oak is a symbol of male energy, strong vitality, and invincibility. For me, my father is a mentor and someone who teaches me to choose my own path and to be confident and true to myself.

In my work with my mother, I took the symbol of the Amulet. She is Mother Nature, who personifies the essence of creating and protecting the world and the harmony of life. This is the continuity of the family. Each of its new branches is the birth of a new family. A mother for a child is like a compass and a force that adjusts, opens wings, and shows us the direction.



Oil artist was born in Kharkiv, based in Kharkiv. My main creative idea is to paint fantasy characters in oil.

Among my characters are little mermaids, elves, the Goddesses of the Seasons and Elements. Such paintings are colorful and I love them. Also I like traditional plein air paintings: landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, portraits etc.

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In the picture “Valour”, I depicted a Cossack – a strong, mighty, noble warrior commander. Such were the Zaporizhia Cossacks. The main character is depicted in an embroidered jacket and a typical Zaporizhian cape. The Cossack’s calm and, at the same time, piercing gaze is directed at the viewer. He is telling us that the Cossack generation isn’t dead!

The image of “Justice” echoes the idea of a young Ukraine. The girl’s figure emerges from the darkness and emits a light that illuminates everything around and restores hope for justice in people’s hearts. With her left hand, Themis holds scales with which she weighs the deeds of those who appear before her judgement. She leans on the sword with her right hand but does not threaten it. A symbol is drawn on the sword, which is often used in Ukraine, Slovenia, and other Slavic nations. It means that we are a single European family. The symbol is called “Full rose” or eight-pointed star, and it is often depicted on icons of the Virgin Mary.

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