Telling our stories is a critical expression of any community, none more so than the Ukrainian nationals living among us, who have vital stories to share with us.

Welcome to the “Choir of Our Mind” exhibition, a heartfelt creation by visual artist Els Borghart. Within these studio walls, we embark on a poignant journey into the lives and experiences of Ukrainians living among us in Ireland. Els marries the art of storytelling with visual artistry, offering us a window into the intricate tapestry of these remarkable individuals, where dreams and complexities intertwine.

This exhibition is a celebration of collaboration and connection. Each subject contributed to their own portrait by sharing their stories. Els’ path to creating these portraits was one of intimate conversations, resulting in artworks that aim to encapsulate the essence of each unique narrative, weaving their voices into the broader human experience.

Els endeavours to portray these individuals as multifaceted beings with rich identities. Her mission is to instill value, visibility, and empathy, both within her subjects and among the audience, fostering a positive and collaborative atmosphere.

“Choir of Our Mind” bridges the gap between storytelling and visual arts, while also serving as a bridge between different communities. It reminds us that Ukrainian nationals living in Ireland are integral members of our society, encouraging open dialogue and social engagement.

As you immerse yourself in this exhibition, you are invited to join us in celebrating the resilience, diversity, and connections that define the “Choir of Our Mind.” It stands as a testament to art’s ability to unite communities and illuminate the beauty within our shared human experience.

Els’ heartfelt gratitude goes out to the Ukrainian participants who entrusted her with their stories, to Yara Paievska for introducing her into the Ukrainian community and to Daria Ivanishchenko for contributing a self-portrait to the exhibition. A special thanks to Anastasiia, Daria, Elena, Marta, Nataliia, Olha, Olha, Olha, Oksana, Renat, Rostaslav, Viktorya, Viktoriia, Yana, Yana and Yara.

Many thanks to Creative Ireland Louth for believing in Els Borghart’s work and generously supporting this project.