Documentary photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, curates a new international exhibition featuring work by 12 “magnificent” Ukrainian photographers – Stuart’s way of framing Ukrainian culture, by putting the lives of a dozen Ukrainians in the spotlight. The show follows what becomes of them.
The exhibition is hosted by Rheged just outside Penrith, at the Northern Gateway to the Lake District & Cumbria – and close to Stuart’s home – “this invasion could potentially happen right here. Imagine that for a moment!”

When Putin and his Russian forces invaded Ukraine on 24 February, Stuart was filled with horror and motivated to do something meaningful. His thoughts quickly turned to creating an exhibition. Drawing on his own experience as the photographer and curator for ‘Homes of Football’ and ‘Pop Music Festival’, he started to reach out to Ukrainians who were using photography as a means to communicate, mostly found via social media. Gradually the “12” came together. “The war will be seen through their eyes, their images, artwork, words…and presence – three are heading over to Cumbria later in 2022”.

“I had one rule when putting this together: does it make me cry? Tears of sadness or joy. The show I had in mind was not about the blood and guts of war, seen elsewhere, rather how this horror is impacting on the normal everyday lives of innocent people, in our European backyard”.

Whilst most of the emotive and thought provoking images have never been seen, one of the images “Girl With Candy” bearing arms, may be familiar. It was taken by Oleksii, a cctv engineer and part-time photographer. It shows his 9 year old daughter holding his spare unloaded shotgun. His image went viral on the very eve of invasion.

“Many big names say they are going to visit the show (they can stay at mine!) yet these ’12’ are totally unknown names – to me they are ‘Magnificent’ for their determination, resilience. They are inspiring”.

“As for there only being 11 and not 12… YOU are #12!”.

The exhibition is hosted at Rheged until 16 December (at the very least) – with new elements added to the exhibition EVERY week. Admission is free.


The pictures here and on display at Rheged are for sale.
IF YOU BUY THE #01 OF ANY TITLE, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR NAME PUT ASIDE IT IN THE SHOW (quite an honour and it shows your support) UNTIL THE SHOW’S END WHEN THE PICTURE WILL COME TO YOU. If you want picture-issue #02 or #03 or #04 etc etc earlier than the end of the show, then we will get it to you fully framed, within 28 days, anywhere the UK. If you are elsewhere in the World there is an across the board extra cargo transit cost of £190. ALL the framed images are 66 cms in width, irrespective of landscape or portrait shape. Proceeds will go to the Ukrainian “12”, for them to distribute the funds as they choose.