A powerful exhibition of photography and stories produced by a group of Ukrainian women who met through an arts-for-wellbeing programme hosted by Creative Response Arts in Farnham will open this Saturday.

Unbowed: Stories of Ukraine is a portrait of the impact of the war in Ukraine and will run at The Gallery at Creative Response, based in Vernon House next to Farnham Library, until Friday, March 15.

The photography exhibition has been made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and records the women’s personal experiences of leaving their homes, their friends and family in Ukraine, of living in the UK, and of the ongoing trauma of the war. 

The Ukraine art group was set up in November 2022, supported by Creative Response Arts and Activate Learning. 

Natalia Sharomova, one of the artists running the Ukraine art group, works as a photojournalist and taught portrait photography to the group.

All the photographs in the exhibition were taken by members of the group using their newly-learned skills. Each portrait is accompanied by a personal story in the sitter’s own words, translated into English. The original Ukrainian versions will also be available to view at the exhibition.

“This photo project is about gentle and resolute women. These are not only our stories. I believe they can support and inspire others not to give up, even if you have lost everything,” explained Natalia, the lead artist for the project.

Kathryn McManus, chief executive at Creative Response, added: “We are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their support, which has made this project possible.

“This exhibition is an important record of the experiences of members of our Ukraine art group as well as a stunning exhibition of portrait photography.

“I hope many people in Farnham and the surrounding area will join us for this powerful and moving exhibition.”