In the course of the event, 250 photographs showed Donetsk exhibit visitors the sincere emotions of Den Photo Competition winners and participants of different years. On the first day, about 200 people came to see the photo exhibit (the hall just could not accommodate more). Classical music was playing live – piano, violin, and vocal. All this created the sensation of beauty and inspiration.
“It is a great honor for me to be here and unveil a beautiful Den Photo Exhibit. I would like to thank the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna for this splendid exhibit in our home city Donetsk. I think these works really mirror the whole palette of this country’s life. I like it that it comprises representatives of different regions and ages. All this creates our history. It shows the beauty and talent of our country and, what is more, the people, our main wealth. We often do not notice what is going on around us and often ignore some things. But a photograph can make us take a look at these problems and moments, and I think it is important,” Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr LUKIANCHENKO said at the opening ceremony.
“We annually hold photo monitoring. I am very pleased to say that while we earlier used to downplay children’s works, now the photos children make can fully compete with those made by professionals. It is a proven fact. You can see this on the example of the picture A Boy and a Bird. This photo exhibit has everything: previous years’ winners, novices, Euro-2012, and a special Donbas section. I don’t think this can leave anybody indifferent,” Den editor-in-chief Larysa IVSHYNA said.
The high-profile Den 2012 exhibit also became a star attraction at the Art Donbas gallery. “In the 18 months of existence, our gallery has not yet hosted so a large-scale exhibit in terms of the number and meaningfulness of items. We are, naturally, pleased to carry out this project at our gallery. Each photograph is a masterpiece. I think I will more than once enter the hall and ponder over the photos,” Volodymyr TELEHIN, director of the Art Donbas exhibition center, confessed to The Day.
The event also saw the presentation of gifts. For example, the Donetsk mayor handed, on behalf of our newspaper, the “intellectual gift set” of Den Library books to Donetsk Specialist School No. 95.
Tetiana PFEIPFER, general manager of the advertising agency of Lucky Company, a portal on art, fashion, and love, decided to award a cash prize to the Ternopil-based photo exhibit participant Anna Zevako, 16, for the picture Inspired Master. “We often walk with our head down. But once you look up, you will immediately see incredible beauty. Therefore, we are awarding our prize to the author who looked up and caught the right moment to take a snapshot.”
“I liked the exhibit very much: you are looking back on some works over and over again. There are some funny photos, but there are also some that make you teary, such as, for example, They Have Resurrected by Serhii Vahanov, which depicts rescued miners. You get an ocean of emotions, although it is not a theater, nobody is making a speech or explaining something to you,” says Vira BOIKO, an exhibit visitor.
What Donetsk residents liked the most were children-made photographs, socially-oriented pictures, and works by the Donetsk-based photo artist and reporter Serhii Vahanov. Serhii has been repeatedly sending his works to the Den Photo Competition and became its winner in 2003 and 2004. “I have closely followed Vahanov’s photographs on his social networking site page, but what I saw here keeps me spellbound and enraptured,” says Iryna SOKOLOVA, sharing her emotions.
According to Den’s editor-in-chief, it was only possible to stage the exhibit owing to generous support from the Donetsk authorities. “I would like to note that it is very important for a city to have a gallery like this. You missed it so much! While earlier we could not even imagine that we would be able to bring so many works, now it is quite realistic. Besides, the hall and the atmosphere are really stunning here: live music is playing, and we relish mingling with one another,” Ms. Ivshyna added.
The days of Den are drawing to a close, but our photo exhibit in Donetsk is still on. You can visit it daily until March 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Art Donbas exhibition gallery.
Viktoria BAZYLEVSKA, head, art section, Donetsk House of Culture Figures:
“The works are stunning in terms of subject and splendid in terms of emotional impact – some can move you to tears and some are sincere and funny. You are just looking at a picture and can’t resist laughing, for you begin to be the photographer’s partner in this small event. What I liked the most is the authors’ close attention to underlying meanings and the subtly noticed moments of life which we often overlook. When you look at the works that show veterans and the disabled, your heart sinks. But the pictures that show children, such as the one titled Sunshine which depicts a child with a funny haircut, are so tender and so sincere. In such minutes I revel in the way Ukraine lives. I mean it. These images have so much ingenuity, so much perception of the living world. All participants in the Den Photo Exhibit arouse in us respect for each other so that we can do more good and fewer bad things. The exhibit is really splendid, and you wish so much to see all the photographs for a second time.”
Valeria NADEINA, organizer of photo exhibits at Donetsk National University:
“I think the exhibit is worth being shown in all the regions of Ukraine, for it mirrors the social life of ordinary people. The works made me reflect on true talent, for only talents can notice really interesting moments of our routine life, whereas so many people do not attach too much meaning to this. The same work can stir up different emotions in different people. This is another opportunity to share and discuss your opinions. The Den photographs teach us to think.”
Anastasia LUHANSKA, photo studio Myt:
“I liked the exhibit very much. I can see that the participating photographers did their utmost to take so touching and emotional pictures. What struck me the most is the work Mother Is Still Waiting by Kostiantyn Bobryshchev, which shows an old woman looking out for her son against the backdrop of a ramshackle house. Tears welled up in my eyes, when I was looking at this photo. I think there were interesting pictures about soccer, especially those with children fans – very brilliant and uncommon works.”
Ivan IVANOV, photographer, Donetsk National University student:
“To tell the truth, I don’t like documentary photography, but the works of Den photographers shook my confidence and showed that this kind of pictures could also be strong. I especially liked the black-and-white photos, for they are full of inimitable energy. The works of child photographers also struck me. They seemed to me far more interesting and livelier than the ones made by adults. I think owners of semi-professional and professional equipment should visit this event. Before calling yourself a photographer, you must see the pictures displayed at this exhibit – they can teach you a lot.”
Prepared by Maria PROKOPENKO, Oleksandra CHERNOVA, Donetsk