The subject of rape in Siberian prison camps is indeed sensitive for artist June Derksen, who tells the story of her own mother’s horrific experiences, by creating a beautiful and very moving piece of artwork in fused glass.
The Black Forest depicts a scene in which young women and children were released, after two horrific years in Siberian prison camps, where life has been made impossible by abuse, torture and rape. Some women escaped into the Black Forest to avoid being caught by the Red Army. They peek out timidly, like ghostly figures, wondering if they are now safe.
Derksen researched her topic to find that an estimated two million women and children were abused for two years. The Red Army at the time “took out their anger” on women and children of all races, and this crime has been called the worst mass rape in history.
Derksen has been a regular artist at Manitoba Art Expo for the last three years, and has also donated her skills in professional advertising design towards the group’s efforts, so that Manitoba’s artists can publicly showcase their art.
She is also on the board for the annual show, which will be featuring a new theme for 2014 in honour of the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The video (above) clearly demonstrates her love for art, family and her ardent support for the Winnipeg Humane Society. Her three charming dogs make a cameo in the short video. A visit is also made to her studio where she demonstrates her work.
This is the sixth and last instalment in a series about several of the artists participating in the Human Rights Showcase at Art Expo 2014. To see more, be sure to attend the show, Oct. 24th -26th at Assiniboia Downs.
Admission is $6 per person, FREE for children under 12, and FREE PARKING.
In true Winnipegger fashion, you can save $1 on each admission by downloading a pdf of the coupon/invitation at www.manitobaartexpo.ca.
BIO: June Derksen began creating stained glass in 1997. Over the years glass painting, enamelling and fused glass were introduced into her art. June’s style is whimsical, graphic and abstract, sometimes consisting of wire, metal inclusions, pottery and other found objects. Using texture wherever possible she encourages the viewer to touch and feel the art, as well as see it. A forever student of glass, nothing fuels her inspiration more than learning new techniques and surrounding herself with other great. See June Derksen’s artist page for Art Expo at this link.
Click here to see all of the articles in this series by Faye Hall.