My piece Petrykivka-Khokloma takes motifs from Russian (Khokhloma) and Ukrainian (Petrykivka) folk art, combined into one design to demonstrate the ability of communities and traditions to overcome the borders imposed by their governments. It was inspired by meeting new friends from Ukraine and Russia in 2014 as part of an International Summer Camp for young people in Leipzig, Germany. They epitomised love and generosity, proudly sharing their country's traditions with us all and just entirely transcending and turning against the divisions or issues that were occurring between their two countries. This unity feels more important than ever following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, and the referendum results clearly demonstrate that young people understand the importance of togetherness across borders more than their elders, making for a hard truth at present, but also a hopeful future.
To find out more about The Gap, Birmingham's first arts centre dedicated to young people, here.