Augmented reality app shines a spotlight on Ukrainian women artists

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Users can move to a virtual gallery wherever they are, at home or on the street. The application is available in Ukrainian and English. Screenshot collage by UN Women Ukraine
Users can visit a virtual gallery from wherever they are. The application is available in Ukrainian and English. Screenshot collage by UN Women Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine – Given the under representation of women in Ukrainian art spheres, many average Ukrainians have a hard time naming just one or two women artists – despite the fact that since the 20th century women artists have been actively fighting for their place in the history of art. This lack of recognition inspired UN Women to promote women creatives with an innovative creation of its own: a virtual doorway to the world of women’s art.

On March 13, UN Women Ukraine presented the central project of HeForShe Arts Week 2020 - an augmented reality (AR) gallery app highlighting artwork by Ukrainian women artists of the past and present. The app allows users to view pictures in detail, read or listen to information about the artists, take photos and share with friends. The virtual gallery includes 10 paintings from the collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, a long-term partner of the HeForShe Ukraine movement, as well as four artworks by contemporary artists and nominees of the Women in Arts 2019 Award.

Some of the paintings are stored in the National Art Museum of Ukraine and are not part of the permanent exhibition – which means app users have a unique opportunity to see them through the AR application.

The purpose of the virtual gallery project is to enable people from all over Ukraine, and the world, to learn more about Ukrainian women artists and their art.

“The concept of the app was based on the main theme of the HeForShe Arts Week 2020 - Waves of Generations,” explains Olga Diachuk, HeForShe Ukraine Campaign Coordinator. “We want to highlight the connection between women artists, beyond sharing the same decade or same style, but put an emphasis on the connection between generations of women – from Alexandra Exter (1882–1949) to Anna Zvyagintseva (born in 1986).”

Radio Culture, a media partner of HeForShe Arts Week 2020, created a special audio guide for the works, while Michael Schur and Yaroslava Kravchenko, TV anchors and HeForShe Ukraine advocates, welcome users to the app with an introduction.

In the short time since its launch, the AR gallery application has already gained widespread attention and online media coverage, especially since its launch coincided with the announcement of COVID-19 quarantine measures in Ukraine, during which time more people are online and looking for entertainment. The prevention measures may continue for weeks and although cinemas, galleries and museums are closed, the virtual gallery is open for all.

The application, developed for UN Women by Huspi company, can be downloaded at:

App Store: https://apple.co/2QdTs1T

Google play: https://bit.ly/2xCxuz1