Art created by Ukrainian refugees is being exhibited in Co Kerry in an effort to raise funds for an art museum that was destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The artworks are replicas of paintings made by the renowned Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko.

Historical and Local History Museum in Ivankiv after the blaze

Over 50 paintings are being sold to raise funds for the restoration of the Historical and Local History Museum in Ivankiv.

The museum was destroyed by fire when the town was attacked by Russian forces in February last year.

Twenty five precious artworks by Maria Prymachenko were lost in the fire.

With the support of Kerry ETB, the Ukrainian refugees have been attending art workshops in Baile an Sceilg.

Under the guidance of local art teacher Michael Herrmann, the participants decided to replicate some of Prymachenko's most loved works.

Folk artist Maria Prymachenko is regarded as an iconic figure in Ukrainian culture

Prymachenko was a self-taught artist in the naïve style who achieved great fame for her vibrant depictions of everyday life.

She is regarded as an iconic figure in Ukrainian culture.

Baile an Sceilg art teacher Michael Herrmann said the legendary artist was the perfect subject for the workshops and the cause.

He said: "It was a way to engage our Ukrainian guests in the community. They selected Maria Prymachenko as their subject because she’s such a part of their identity.

"It is art that is very much rooted in the Ukrainian folk and art tradition."

None of the ten Ukrainian participants had previous art experience. The group met for three hours every Tuesday.

Svitlana Radova, who fled Russian-occupied Melitopol last year, said the art classes offered a welcome distraction.

The exhibition will remain open until the end of September

"It helped us forget about our troubles, our sadness and problems. Some of us have lost our houses, we have lost relatives, we have lost our real lives. The art workshops gave us a purpose," said Ms Radova.

Aryn Arynov, one of the youngest exhibitors said the art project allowed him to connect with home.

She said: "We wanted to support the museum in Ivankiv, but we also wanted to show Irish people the beauty of our Ukrainian art. We are very far from our home here but this helped us feel a strong connection with our home."

Poet Paddy Bushe who officially opened the exhibition believes the project will benefit both the Ukrainian and local communities in Iveragh.

"The work itself is magnificent, but of course, the particular circumstances in which it is being done, where you have refugees from the war helping a rescue effort for a museum that has been damaged in the war in Ukraine is of great importance," he said

We also see the sense of purpose and pride it gives them to present us with a very valuable aspect of their culture and of course, it is important for us. Through the beauty of their work they are enriching our cultural life here in south Kerry," added Mr Bushe.

The exhibition will remain open until the end of September at the community hall in Baile an Sceilg.