This year our Cherwell Art Gallery hosted a special exhibition, enthused by the collaboration between our talented students, tutors, partners and parents.

Exhibition manifested a controversy of life: anger & despair caused by unjust wars and at the same time expresses love and rebirth of hope, the feeling you experience entering the room with Graham Cole’s art pieces.

Metamorphosis of life is depicted by a very thoughtful Installation “Contra spem spero”, created by Olena Naumenko – a prominent Ukrainian artist.

As Olena describes it:

It is an object made of paper cut in a shredder. The symbol of the shredded, destroyed documents represents the lack of meaning in paper-based agreements that humanity continues to believe in to this day. The Russian-Ukrainian war has shown the futility of believing in such agreements between countries.

The object is a large cloud, from which a stream of heavy rain seems to be pouring, gradually turning into blood. The cloud looks like a nuclear mushroom. The fear of the possibility of an aggressor country using nuclear weapons is the main leitmotif of all global processes and the reassessment of values that has been taking place during this terrible year. Global processes are inert. Therefore, the majority of humanity, which is not directly involved in this war, does not yet realise the depth of the terrible disaster that has already occurred and continues to snowball in size. This applies not only to the use of and blackmail with nuclear weapons, but also to global natural processes that have already crossed the point of no return.

However, in times of despair and trouble, there is always that one thin young twig that breaks through the thick of the hard soil. It is HOPE, FAITH and LOVE, as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. As a single entity.

In the middle of the installation, there is a pot into which the “blood” of humanity is poured, but young shoots of a new strong plant sprout from it, drenched in this blood. This is a symbol of the faith in humanity, in a new generation of people who will save this world, a world that now seems doomed.

Students are the beating heart of Cherwell College – this special season would have not been possible without their tremendous help and dedicated involvement.
Rose’s help in planning the layout of the exhibition by putting together art pieces whilst creating her own masterpieces, made the experience of art weeks at Cherwell very worthy.

Our singing birds, talented singers guided by a professional teacher, Yevheniia Diachenko were enlightening and healing many hearts throughout Hilary and Trinity terms. It is a special project Cherwell College inherited from Oxford University and delighted with this great collaboration.

We are very grateful to our remarkable parent and exceptional musician Bogdana Pivnenko, who agreed to perform with her student Kory, allowing our students and local community to open up the magical vibrant world of music beyond Oxford and across oceans.

This season of Art Weeks introduces a wonderful opportunity for a cultural exchange between Ukrainian artists, musicians, children, Cherwell College tutors and students from a multicultural background – at the same time: driving creativity, innovation, diversity and humankind.