UKRAINE FLOWER SERIES: The Power of Defiance
Five Points Arts Gallery | Feb 3 to March 11, 2023
Now over a year ago, I began this series on February 25th, 2022, five days after Putin began bombing Ukrainian civilians, libraries, museums, apartment houses, schools, pre-schools, a nuclear power plant i& hospitals. Each piece references a place that was bombed and where civilians died.
But this work is also about my mother.
The bravery and fierceness of the Ukrainian people reminded me not only of Churchill’s England during the war with Hitler but also my British mother. My mother, beautiful in appearance, was angry to her core and no-one understood why, certainly not myself.
Generations were traumatized through that war and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not really a diagnosis until 1980. Her generation did not seek help anyway. They just “got on with it.” Through the lens of this Ukraine Flower Series, I “found” her – the mother I had to run from. The mother that rarely spoke of what it was like to be sheltering in a subway, bombs above decimating entire neighborhoods. Friends disappeared, her RAF pilot fiancee shot down. The mother who became a person who only understood power, never trusted anyone and therefore, could not surrender to love.
So instead of loving people, she loved flowers; wore flowered dresses, sat on floral chairs, walked on floral rugs with floral arrangements everywhere. These symbolic flowers are a testament to the endless battle between good and evil and how war affects us all. Every single one of us.