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Fri, 12 May


St Mary's Church Guildford

Art for Ukraine Exhibition: Mariya Borysova, Natalia Sharomova, Niel Ballingal

Special exhibition of artwork from three artists who helped to start the Ukrainian Support Group at Creative Response

Art for Ukraine Exhibition: Mariya Borysova, Natalia Sharomova, Niel Ballingal
Art for Ukraine Exhibition: Mariya Borysova, Natalia Sharomova, Niel Ballingal

Time & Location

12 May 2023, 21:00 BST – 25 May 2023, 15:00 BST

St Mary's Church Guildford, Quarry St, Guildford GU1 3UA, UK

About the event


St Mary's Church will be open on the following days.

Saturday 20th May, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sunday 21st May, 8:00 - 9:00 am

Tuesday 23th May, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Thursday 25th May, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Three professional artists, two from Ukraine and one from the UK, who have been working together at the Farnham arts charity Creative Response, are showing new artworks in an exhibition at Guildford’s St Mary’s Church.

Mariya Borysova is a painter, graphic artist, art teacher and mother of four children. She graduated from Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts and works in modern art, exploring facets of female nature, motherhood, sacrifice and freedom.  Her style borders on realism and symbolism, evoking Ukrainian folk ornaments and Dutch floral still life. She has participated in many group and solo exhibitions in Ukraine, the USA and UK. She moved with her family to Farnham due to the war.

Natalia Sharomova is a photojournalist from Kyiv and is closely involved in political affairs in Ukraine. She has undertaken a project about Anna Kyivska (Anne of Kyiv 1030-1075) in France and an aerial project about the beauty of the country. She was the winner of the XV International Photo Contest “Day-2019” and Ukraine National Photographer of the Year 2012. Natalia and her two children are now living in Farnham, having arrived here to escape the war. She also works for the Farnham Herald, a local newspaper.

Niel Ballingal has been painting from an early age. His paintings have been exhibited at two solo shows in London, in many galleries in Cornwall, where he lived, as well as in Hong Kong. More recently, he has included his raku pottery at exhibitions in open studios. Niel started a series of paintings in response to the war in Ukraine, which will be shown for the first time in the exhibition.

Since November last year, Mariya, Natalia and Niel have led weekly art sessions for Ukrainian people living in the Farnham area. The sessions are run by Creative Response, in partnership with Activate Learning.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to welcome our Ukrainian guests into the Creative Response community and a real joy to see the amazing artwork being made by the Ukrainian group each week,” said Kathryn McManus, chief executive at Creative Response. “I am grateful to Niel, Mariya and Natalia, whose work is exhibited in this very special exhibition, for their fantastic joint leadership of these art sessions, and to Activate Learning for partnering with us to make them possible. My thanks also go to the team at the parish of Holy Trinity and St Mary’s for making the space available for this exhibition."

The exhibition is supported by Folk Inspiration and there will be a small art stall at the concert featuring fiddler Sam Sweeney at St Mary’s on 13 May where audience members can purchase work by the Creative Response Ukraine group.


Farnham-based Creative Response is an independent arts charity providing and promoting access to creative practice and the arts for the wellbeing of vulnerable people in our community. Registered Charity No. 1096890

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