Whenever tragedy occurs, humans attempt to make sense of the chaos it creates and often look for places of comfort when they feel helpless in meaningless tragedy. As the world watches the war in Ukraine unfold, artists have found their voices in art, regardless of its medium, to express themselves.
Like the artists who make the art, I have sought solace from the harsh reality of war we are fed through the media and the internet. I will never understand war, but I understand beauty and I take comfort in the beauty artists around the world are showing to the world. We do not condone this war, but also know we cannot help other than to make art and hope our political leaders and corporations listen and step in to help to stop this senseless war Vladimir Putin has started.
In J.R.R. Tolkein’s “The Hobbit,” the character Gandalf said, “I have found that it is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” I found such kindness and love on Art for Ukraine, a subreddit on Reddit, where anyone can post pictures of art they have made.
Artist Boris Groh created a painting and it won a contest for his artwork to become a postage stamp in Ukraine. You can also purchase a print of the painting. When the stamp becomes available, it will be for sale at the Ukrainian postal service’s website.
Ukrainian violinist Illia Bondarenko, plays in a basement shelter in Kyiv. He was joined in harmony by top violinists around the world. He had to film in between explosions because he could not hear himself play. (This actually brought tears to my ears.)
Happening now in Maidan Square, a concert by the Kyiv Classic Symphony Orchestra pic.twitter.com/zV6O5649bJ
— Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) March 9, 2022
The Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra played the national anthem in front of a small crowd on March 9, 2022, on the central Maidan Square as Russian forces advanced on the city. Conductor Herman Makarenko was able to gather around 20 performers of the normally 60-75 orchestra to play. The orchestra “also performed an excerpt from Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, on which the European Union’s anthem is based – a nod to the Ukraine government’s desire to move closer to Europe and away from Russia’s orbit.”
Ireland has asked all countries around the world to light their buildings in yellow and blue for Saint Patrick’s Day. For those of you who forgot your art classes from elementary class or the cheesy Ziploc commercials from the 1990s, yellow + blue = green. (Please don’t send me messages about this. I know it’s not technically correct.)
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has written to all Irish embassies asking that embassies, monuments and other sites typically lit up green for St Patrick’s Day should instead be lit up in yellow and blue.
It is believed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Tourism Ireland did not think it would be appropriate for the usual marketing campaign to go ahead as normal this year given the crisis in Ukraine.
Some countries which have already lit up their buildings in yellow and blue were going to turn them off in order to go green on St Patrick’s Day, but it is understood the Government said they would rather they stay in the Ukrainian colours.
Martin said the Government has evolved the tone and theme of St. Patrick’s day for next week, adding:
“We will use St. Patrick’s Day, the week basically, to highlight our solidarity with Ukraine and the values that Ukrainian people are standing for.”
If you have the funds and feel compelled to do so, you can donate to help Ukraine’s armed forces.