Brisbane-based artist Guido van Helten is now in Ukraine where he just finished this wonderful portrait as part of the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Based on a photograph taken by the renowned photojournalist Igor Kostin short after the disaster in 1986, the new mural was painted inside an abandoned and unfinished nuclear reactor that was under construction at the time of the accident.
For this special occasion, Guido van Helten chose to recreate the work of Igor Kostin, famous for documenting the disaster in 1986 and the arduous clean up activities in the aftermath of the accident, often sacrificing his own safety and health in order to denounce the dangers of such nuclear catastrophes.
In Guido van Helten’s words:
‘I wanted to create a work that honoured the sacrifice Igor Kostin made in the documentation of this disaster and for the importance of photojournalism as a medium of sharing of information with the world and in this case, showing the extreme dangers Nuclear energy can have.’ – Guido van Helten
Ukrainian photographer and filmmaker Geo Leros documented the creation of the work in a short film released today 26th of April in order to commemorate the anniversary of a disaster that injured and displaced more than 300.000 people. According to Igor Leros ‘[T]his movie is not just about the mural, it’s a story about Igor Kostin, about a journalist who battled everyday to put his life in danger to share with us this information, it’s the story about the strong people who fight with this disaster.’
One thing is sure, the mural and the location are certainly an incredible sight.
Film by Geo Leros
Curators: Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, Waone Interesni Kazki, Ilya Sagaidak
The mural was created with assistance from the Chernobyl district authorities.