Hartlepool lecturer exhibits work at Chernobyl

Claire Baker.
Claire Baker.

A Hartlepool lecturer is leading an international project to boost the cultural arts scene in the Ukraine.

Claire Baker, a textile tutor at Cleveland College of Art and Design, recently returned from a two-week research trip to the country, where she took part in an unofficial photographic exhibition in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and worked on developing a new festival, including arts, for the communities affected by the disaster.

Claire Baker filming Chernoblying festival.

Claire Baker filming Chernoblying festival.

Claire was part of a group of 14 artists who visited the site of the world’s biggest nuclear disaster last year and documented the visit with film, photos and interviews.

One year later, she visited Pripyat to display the series of striking photographic images of the work created after the group’s visit in 2016.

Named after the day and year of the Chernobyl disaster, 26:86 Collective is made up of established and emerging artists and designers.

Claire said: “Officially tourists are not allowed inside the buildings throughout the exclusion zone due to health and safety issues, and I wouldn’t recommend it. But people will come across the exhibition, and hopefully the images will remain there for many years.”

Hopefully the images will remain there for many years

Claire Baker

Claire’s expedition was to plan a new three-day festival – Chernobyling - which has been developed as both a cultural and economic boost to the communities affected by the disaster.

Exhibition at Chernobyl.

Exhibition at Chernobyl.

Palace of Culture in Pripyat.

Palace of Culture in Pripyat.