A Corner of the Field of Mars

18 Nov 2022 – 21 Dec 2022

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Free admission

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Broadway Gallery

Letchworth Garden City, United Kingdom

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  • Letchworth Garden City
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'A Corner of the Field of Mars' – an exhibition in response to the war in Ukraine, featuring work from 7 international artists from Ukraine, Russia and the Russian diaspora. All proceeds from sales going to British Red Cross - Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Gallery Reception: 10th December, 2-5pm.


'A Corner of the Field of Mars' - a group exhibition in response to the war in Ukraine, featuring work of Sofiya Chotyrbok, Veronika Peat, Olha Pryymak, Kristina Razumova, Sophie Smith, Julia Soboleva, Anna Tveritinova.

The title for the exhibition and for one of the works by Veronika Peat is drawn from Anna Akhmatova’s Poem without a Hero, begun in 1940 and then worked on for over 20 years until eventually published in 1965. The Field of Mars of Akhmatova is in St Petersburg (Leningrad in Akhmatova’s time) and has been successively swamp, pleasure garden, parade ground, burial place of revolutionary heroes, vegetable garden during the wartime siege, and site of protest. The poem addresses a century marked by wars and revolution. It offers both a memorial and a lament, and is an expiation for the sins of suffering and neglect through those times.

The works by all the participating artists function also as memorial – both in celebration and in regret – for a community of nations which is now torn by this war. As lament, they invoke a longing for redemption and for an end to this suffering. And as expiation they demand of themselves the question of what is to be done?

But this is also an exhibition of hope – hope that out of the urgent deeds and prayers of us all, and here in particular of these seven artists, can emerge a form of resistance that may bring the power to overcome the cruelties and futility of war, and that may suggest the way to win peace and heal this fracture in our world.

These are artists from Ukraine, from Russia or the Russian diaspora, and from England, all of whom are women and all of whom present their own form of opposition to this war but do so here, in this exhibition, as a community. Here, their works in painting, photography, collage, drawing and video are not separated from the political realities of our lives in the context of this war but are offered as what critic Timothy Hyman terms ‘historical witness, a reimagining’. Individually, each artist represents the experience of being a closer or more removed observer of the terrors and traumas of the war, and they all as witnesses make resistant meaning to counter the dangers of a sense of helplessness that may otherwise hinder our response.

It is on the Field of Mars, at the end of the lament that concludes Part One of Akhmatova’s poem, that the cry is heard: “Mercy, oh show mercy, Lord!”

In hope, this cry is what this exhibition asks us all to invoke.

In such times it is not enough to look, or only to look. It is time to feel, to respond, to act.


Veronika Peat

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Sofiya Chotyrbok


Julia Soboleva

Sophie Smith

Olha Pryymak

Veronika Peat

Kristina Razumova


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