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Philanthropist and ConcordBank shareholder Olena Sosiedka talks about supporting the Ukrainian pavilion at the London Design Biennale

On June 1, the London Design Biennale started, where a Ukrainian pavilion was created for the first time, where three Ukrainian designers would present their projects. "The Darkest Hour Before Dawn" – this is the name of our exhibition in London. CONCORD Bank has become a partner of this cultural event, which will be focused on artists from different European countries.

“Our people are going to London. I am very glad that ConcordBank and I are involved in this! No, not refugees, not displaced persons … They are not running away from the daily rocket attacks, but rather proudly bringing their vision of beauty and design ideas from the country being destroyed by the enemy. The projects created from natural materials that our country is rich in”, – Olena Sosiedka posted on her telegram channel.

For CONCORD Bank, the support of arts events is one of the main charitable activities of the financial institution. Olena Sosiedka, co-owner of the bank, has been collecting paintings by contemporary Ukrainian artists for a long time, supports projects of artists who help the AFU, and is an active participant in charitable initiatives of the Front-Art artists' community.

“I was very impressed by the work of Serhii Hotvianskyi, a designer from my hometown of Dnipro. Imagine, he created industrial facilities: a water tower, a cooling tower, gas and grain tanks! And Ukrainian craftsmen recreated these objects in Carpathian oak and salt from the unique, world's only deposit in Soledar, in Donbas coal, in granite from the Katerynivka deposit, and in Kryvyi Rih iron. It's painful to look at these works of art because I know at what cost we are now defending our land. But the world should know that Ukraine is rich not only in natural resources, but also in talented people, culture and traditions, and strives to preserve its authenticity and reveal itself to the world.” – says Olena Sosiedka, a philanthropist and shareholder of the CONCORD Bank. 

The exposition of the Ukrainian pavilion in the language of design tells about the initiatives of the creative community despite the crisis and demonstrates that in difficult circumstances, design can become a tool for the development of the country and its culture.

“The project of our exposition became an interregional one, because people from different cities of Ukraine took part in it. Thus, the items for the exhibition were made in Kharkiv, Lutsk, and Kyiv. The "Earth" carpet was made by artisans from Zakarpattia. Designers from Dnipro and Odesa were involved. The Biennale provided a free space for the Ukrainian pavilion, but it was only thanks to the support of CONCORD Bank and donations that we were able to bring the exposition to London and assemble the installation there. Therefore, we are very grateful to the bank and its shareholders for their support!” – said Larysa Tsybina, coordinator of the Ukrainian pavilion, design researcher.

Without enough resources for creativity because of the war, Ukrainian designers demonstrate that even through the taped-up windows of their homes, during power outages, they see opportunities for cooperation with the democratic free world and can realize bold design ideas. Three projects are presented at the exhibition, which were created despite the crisis in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian design community is looking forward to new connections and strives to realize the most daring design ideas. She believes that "The Darkest Hour Before Dawn" is the beginning of new opportunities and prosperity for Ukraine.

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