A Unique Icon Exhibit from Ukraine “Icons on Ammo Boxes” Opened in the main temple of the UGCC in the USA
A most unique exhibit of religious iconography, entitled “Icons on Ammo Boxes” opened June 2 at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia. The week-long exhibit is one of the many events inaugurating the episcopal ministry of the new metropolitan-archbishop of Philadelphia Borys Gudziak, who will be enthroned Tuesday, June 4.
Gennadiy Druzenko and iconographer Oleksandr Klymenko presented an informative lecture “Art of Volunteering; Volunteering Art” about the Icons on Ammo Boxes and the “Buy an Icon—Save a Life” initiative.
These icons are written on ammo boxes brought from the combat zone in eastern Ukraine where a war between Ukraine and Russian backed separatists has been going for several years.
The main idea of the Icons on Ammo Boxes project is the transformation of death (symbolized by ammo boxes) into life (traditionally symbolized by icons in Ukrainian culture). The goal, this victory of life over death happens not only on the figurative and symbolic level but also in reality through these icons on ammo-boxes.
This art project of Kyivan artists Sofia Atlantova and Oleksandr Klymenko, “Buy an Icon – Save a Life” supports the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital (PFVMH), a non-government project that employs civilian medics to provide medical aid to both militants and civilians in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine.
The icons have been exhibited worldwide in The Hague, Antwerp, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover, Leipzig, Bonn, Cologne, Warsaw, Vienna, Lublin, Prague, Rome, Milan, and Catania on Sicily, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto as well as the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Lviv, Lutsk, Mariupol, Dnipro, Kamyanske, and Pokrovsk.