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Art Without Borders

Charity Auction at the Royal Academy of Arts, London
in aid of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine (NAAU)

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Over £230,000 was raised for the NAAU.  The funds will be distributed according to the memorandum signed between the Natalia Cola Foundation and the NAAU.

  • A grant programme for Ukrainian artists

  • Financial aid for Ukrainian Academicians in need

  • Urgent structural repair to National Academy of Arts of Ukraine buildings Continuation of research, publishing, and exhibition activities

  • Digitisation of archives and translation of website

On the 28th January, 2023, The Natalia Cola Foundation organised a live auction and dinner to benefit the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine (NAAU) in Kyiv at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA).

A silent auction featuring works by renowned Ukrainian, on the 9th January  at 

The Royal Academy of Arts in London generously supported and hosted this initiative.

Over five months, we asked artists, from both Ukraine and across the world to donate work. The responses were remarkable and we'd like to thank those artists contributing generously:

Boris Mikhailov NAAU; Pavlo Makov NAAU; Vira Barynova-Kuleba NAAU; Anatoliy Kryvolap NAAU; Tiberiy Silvashi NAAU; Lubomir Medvid NAAU; Victor Sydorenko NAAU; Tracy Emin RA; Antony Gormley RA; Clare Woods RA; Sir Christopher Le Brun PPRA; Allen Jones RA; Ryan Gander RA; Conrad Shawcross RA; Stephen Shore; Juergen Teller; Giorgio Armani; Oli Epp; Volodymyr Manzhos (“WaOne”); Oleg Tistol; Kitty Rice; Sergiy Svyatchenko; Ruslan Tremba; Olesia Trofimenko; Harry Rudham; David Aiu Servan Schreiber; Siggi Sekira; Lisa Sharpe; Gamlet Zinkivskyi

Press Release: 

Artist Talk: In Conversation
William Kentridge & Samira Ahmed at The Royal Academy

Courtesty of the artist.

Video still from Notes Towards a Model Opera, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge and BBC broadcaster Samira Ahmed talked about his multi-media practice and his exhibition at the RA.

They spoke about the multifaceted nature of his practice and the importance of nurturing experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts practices.

Kentridge’s early work often drew on the socio-political conditions during South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1980s. He still creates works of art that are grounded in politics, science, literature and history, and he maintains a space for contradiction and uncertainty. Kentridge’s process of recording history makes use of reconfigured fragments to arrive at a provisional understanding of the past.

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Artist Talk: In Conversation
Ryan Gander RA & Dr Gilda Williams at The Royal Academy

Ryan Gander is a British conceptual artist whose work has been exhibited across the world and features in both international public and private collections. He has curated exhibitions and taught at international art institutions and universities. He has presented television programmes on and about contemporary art and culture for the BBC. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to contemporary arts. In 2022 he was elected as a Royal Academician.

His work seeks to make visible the things that are usually invisible to us in everyday life and he invites and encourages viewers to question and interpret his artworks in their own way.
Gilda Williams is a contemporary art critic, teacher, and author of the bestselling art book, How to Write about Contemporary Art. She is Senior Lecturer on the MFA Curating programme at Goldsmiths College, London, and is also London correspondent for Artforum magazine.


Francis Bacon: Man vs Beast
Private View 

On the 8th March we hosted a private view of The Royal Academy's historic Francis Bacon: Man and Beast exhibition which runs until 17th April 2022. Our first live event was attended by 100 guests from across the arts, cultural and philanthropic landscape. We would like to thank our hosts the Royal Academy and our caterer By Word of Mouth for making the event so memorable.

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Cancelled: Maggi Hambling on Francis Bacon: Man and Beast


For the second of the Artist Talks series at the Royal Academy, Maggi Hambling CBE offers her perspective on Francis Bacon, his impact and his uninhibited fascination with animals, alongside Courtney J. Martin, the Paul Mellon Director of the Yale Center for British Art, the most comprehensive collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom.

The second instalment of the Royal Academy’s series of Artist Talks takes its theme from the exhibition Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, currently on until April 17th 2022. The Natalia Cola is proud to support this series of Artist Talks.


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Thank you to all who attended Yinka Shonibare & Afua Hirsch In Conversation at The Royal Academy on the 5th October 2021.
Last month the Natalia Cola Foundation had the pleasure of supporting the Royal Academy in bringing together Yinka Shonibare, the coordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2021 and eminent journalist Afua Hirsch.
It proved to be a revealing discussion, with Afua skilfully unpacking Yinka’s chosen theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’; how he champions inclusivity; and aims to transcend the traditional Western art history perspective, preferring to focus on the joyful and visceral aspects of art-making. 


Artist Talk: In Conversation

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA & Afua Hirsch at The Royal Academy

After a year in preparation, I am proud to announce the first lecture in a series of three annual lectures at the Royal Academy that will be supported by The Natalia Cola Foundation.  
Throughout its 250-year history, the Royal Academy has fostered freedom of thought; expression; allowed new ideas to flourish and has existed to champion art and artists.  
It gives me great pleasure to support such a storied institution and I’m so glad to play a small part in ensuring that these principles of education and accessibility can continue for generations to come. 

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