Paulina Olowska - supporting women in Ukraine

Four years ago, UN Women UK and Maria Baibakova launched the annual sold-out event THE ART OF EMPOWERMENT, supporting women and girls worldwide through collaborations with artists.

Now, we are excited to announce a special edition by Paulina Olowska which is raising funds for our local team in Ukraine, both with women inside the country and those in need who are leaving as refugees.

Within Paulina Olowska’s practice, industry, leisure, and socialist symbolism occupy the same visual and cultural space. Her realist paintings, drawings, and collages borrow imagery from Eastern European and American popular culture creating a cross cultural reference that is evident throughout her practice, whilst engaging with the concepts of consumerism, feminism, and design. The outward appearance of Olowska’s female subjects is equally as important as the historical memories interwoven seamlessly throughout her collages and paintings. Olowska’s treatment of her subject’s materialization acts as a direct display of the spirit of the individual, which is likely to be contrasted against a uniformed surrounding reminiscent of life experienced behind the iron curtain.

For International Women’s Day on March 8, 2022, The Art of Empowerment has commissioned Olowska to create a special edition in aid of its mission of supporting women involved in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Proceeds from the sale of works will be matched and doubled when purchased from March 8 to 15 using the link below.

An estimated 54% of people in need of assistance from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine are women, and women and girls are consistently disproportionately affected by conflict. More than 1.5 million people – two thirds women and children – have been displaced since the start of the conflict in 2014 and now suffer from a lack of access to healthcare, housing and employment. These numbers are increasing rapidly with another 2 million estimated to have fled the country in the past month.

Women and girls are a high-risk group, exposed to heightened risks to their human rights. An increased number of women and girls caught in the conflicts will experience violence, exploitation and a lack of access to basic services.
Women with disabilites and chronic diseases, elderly and single-headed households (mostly women-led) will face disproportionately harsher and more extreme challenges. State authorities and civil society organisations have limited capacity to mitigate these immediate risks.

Please note the work will ship from London by early June 2022.

Paulina Olowska
She the Lepidopterist
Digital print on archival paper, hand-signed and numbered by the artist
100 x 73 cm (39.4 x 28.7 in)
Edition of 250 plus 10 Artist Proofs
Price: £250


100% of proceeds from this work will go to UN Women’s emergency appeal for women and girls in Ukraine, and those fleeing as refugees.

Editions are available at £250 GBP each + 2% card fees. You can email us with any questions.



Portrait of Paulina Olowska, Photography by Jacqueline Sobiszewski

Paulina Olowska was born in 1976 in Gdansk, Poland, and lives and works in Rabka Zdroj and Krakow, Poland. She has had one-person exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw.

Olowska received the prestigious Aachen Art Prize in 2014, with an associated exhibition at the Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany. She has also staged performances at Tate Modern, the Carnegie International, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Olowska presented the ballet “Slavic Goddesses—A Wreath of Ceremonies” at the Kitchen, New York, in 2017 and “Slavic Goddesses and The Ushers” at the Museo del Novecento in Milan in 2018. Her work was featured in the 2017 National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne and the 2018 Liverpool Biennial, as well as in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; mumok, Vienna; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; and the New Museum, New York.