A Ukrainian artist who fled the country following the war has seen her Eurovision design displayed in Liverpool.
Mariana Potetenko, 45, fled Kyiv last June, with her two daughters and dog, and came to Liverpool, which is hosting this year’s song contest on behalf of Ukraine.
She answered a call to artists for Eurovision-themed shop window art after taking part in a digital design skills bootcamp, funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Her design, which features last year’s winners Kalush Orchestra and UK entrant Sam Ryder, has gone on display in the city’s Bold Street, outside the Lyceum building, for the tens of thousands of Eurovision fans visiting the city to see.
“The bootcamp changed everything for me because it provided me with new knowledge, skills and opportunities – I still can’t believe that I am seeing my design on such a huge scale and everybody can see it as well.
“I am a huge fan of Eurovision and it was supposed to be in Ukraine but unfortunately, due to the war, it is here, in the city where I am. I still can’t believe it. I will watch it on TV and be proud for my country.”
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “People across our region have opened up their hearts and homes to thousands of Ukrainian refugees over the past year – and we want to ensure they feel a real sense of belonging in our community.
“By giving people like Mariana the opportunity to access training, not only are we helping people’s creativity to flourish, we are helping them to gain the knowledge and skills they need to start building a better future for their families.”
The free eight-day skills bootcamp, put on by Square One Training in Birkenhead, covered the use of digital design software.
Managing director of Square One Training Lisa Johnson said: “We deliver skills bootcamps on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the one Mariana did has allowed her to learn all the key skills to create wonderful masterpieces like this.
“When she first came to me and told me about her life story I was full of emotion and pride that she had come to Liverpool to live – her story is truly amazing and now she is starting a new life in our wonderful city.”