In 2014, three Ukrainian artists founded the collective Pictoric Illustrators Club (PIC) in order to draw attention to the quality and diversity of contemporary illustration in Ukraine through community exhibitions. The group now has about 30 members and enjoys an international reputation at home and abroad.
One of the group's projects is called "YellowBlue" in allusion to the national colours. Since 2016, more than 40 artists have designed posters for this project, painting a picture of a modern, aspiring, young Ukraine with diverse cultural and historical traditions. The posters show architectures, urban life, well-known cultural monuments, everyday scenes, a landscape between wheat fields and the Carpathians and cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kiev or Lviv.
Ukrainian society, which the collective described vividly and with artistic means, has now become the victim of a brutal war of aggression. Many places from the "YellowBlue" project lie in ruins, are the scene of war crimes. But the enormity of the violence, destruction and crimes has not silenced the illustrators. Quite the opposite: the collective launched the campaign "Pictures Against War" to show the world what is happening in their country. The pictures tell of people fleeing from bombs and taking refuge in cellars and underground shafts. They show wounded and dead and Russian soldiers using their tanks and guns against civilians. And they repeatedly show children, injured, distraught, with pets and cuddly toys.
For the exhibition, we selected 30 posters of the collective from the project "YellowBlue" and from the recent posters against the war, with which we turn our gaze to the children. They tell in a touching way about childhood in a carefree pre-war time and in the terrible present of war.
Illustration 1: © Pictoric Illustrators Club, Wheat by Olga Shtonda
Illustration 2: © Pictoric Illustrators Club, The touristic Lviv by Anna Sarvira
Illustration 3: © Pictoric Illustrators Club, Agrafka war poster