Liverpool is in the midst of Eurovision fever but Arts Bar Hope Street think it’s important to remember exactly why the contest is here.
At the start of 2022 the artist, Aram Manukyan was happy, living and working in Ukraine but that all changed in when Russia invaded and suddenly he had to leave the country and his life as he knew it.
Aram was born in 1964 in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. His father Alexander was a metal artist and encouraged his son’s passion for art, first teaching him to draw and then how to create art using metal. These early lessons have stayed with Aram and still influence his work today.
In 1980, Aram studied at The Tbilisi Academy of Arts, before continuing his education at Stieglitz Academy in St. Petersburg, where he stayed for seven years. There, Aram immersed himself in as much culture as possible, reading and learning all he could about the work of different kinds of artists, poets and musicians.
At the centre of Aram’s social circle was the visionary film maker Sergei Parajanov, still widely considered by many today as a visual genius. Aram also became close friends with the painter and poet, Gayane Khachaturyan, who he remembers fondly, “She thought creatively and was a very strong artist of that time and the most famous in our region. Friendship with her greatly influenced my work“. Aram credits this time in his life as being absolutely key to him becoming the artist he is.
Most of Aram’s experimental painting now focuses on the abstract form and when asked about his practice, Aram says he is, “very instinctive” and states, “Colour and shape are always inspiring, but sudden ideas are what inspire me the most”.
Aram has enjoyed many successes during his career and has exhibited all over the world. His work is also in private collections the Ukraine, USA, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Israel, Georgia, and Armenia.
For years friends told Aram how Ukraine was a great place to be an artist and in 2011 Aram moved there. It was a place he was very content, so when Russian invaded in 2022 his entire world was turned upside down. Thankfully Aram and his wife escaped the war safely and are now currently living on the Wirral, where Aram continues to work on new pieces.
The curator of Arts Bar Hope Street Laura McCann is delighted to be working with such a talented artist and said, “I’m honoured that Aram is going to be showing work with us but with Eurovision around the corner I felt the timing of this exhibition was especially important. We wanted to remind people of what’s still going on in Ukraine and also offer our support to someone who has been directly affected by the war”.
The exhibition runs daily over the weekend of May 5th-7th between 12-5pm, with a launch event on the evening of Friday the 5th 5-6.30pm. Entry is completely free and all are welcome. For more information please see lauramccannphotos.com