History as Personal Memory was an exhibition at the Slide Room Gallery in February 2018. Curated by Wendy Welch (director of Vancouver Island School of Art,) it showcased the work of Ira Hoffecker, Ulrike Walker and myself. Included in the exhibition were three large pieces from my new series (read more below,) and four unshown earlier works from Ruins and a portrait from Fatherland.
“The artists in this exhibition are all of German descent and are addressing the effect WWII had on their lives. While none of them were alive during the war, it has played an enormous role in their personal memories. These memories are based on information gathered from family relations, historical research and poetic imaginings.” (from the exhibition poster.)
The large mixed media drawings shown in this exhibition expand the use historical photos as a source, and my own photos of roses found in my neighbourhood are reference for interpreting the story of German resistance.
Roses -which traditionally represent love- are distressed, considered carefully, and individually, drawn with materials that resist many layers of ink and used to evoke qualities such as courage and kindness, suffering, sorrow, grief, mystery and persistence- thus expanding a generalised, narrow interpretation of what love means. The roses show through layers of ink no matter how dark the surface might become, and stand in as portraits for individuals within Germany who resisted the Nazi regime.