“Conflicted Memory” at the Alan Cristea Gallery brings together an international group of eight female artists whose experiences of living within conflict zones, or places of political unrest, address the issues that surround the concept of recollection.” (from exhibition guide)

Reflections on difficult personal and collective history

The exhibition, “Conflicted Memory” at Alan Cristea gallery, London, from 29 April – 1 June 2013, shows the work of eight international artists, all women looking at memories, personal narrative, and history of conflict. Each artist has personal experience of conflict  and socio-political change, and the work they make attempts to engage with that past while encouraging debate about effects of such a history.

Rita Donagh

Donagh lives and works in Oxfordshire, England. Her collages fuse maps, newspaper images and architectural drawings to map key events during The Troubles in the 1970s, which she experienced first hand. (image above)

Miriam de Burca

de Burca uses detailed drawings and a short film to consider the “legacy of conflict tied to particular places”. In the work for “Conflicted Memory” she refers directly to Crom Estate which separates the two sides of Belfast, where she lived for a time.

Miriam de Burca, 'Sod of Crom', 2011, ink on vellum, in 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery. Image courtesy www.alancristea.com
Miriam de Burca, ‘Sod of Crom’, 2011, ink on vellum, in ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy http://www.alancristea.com

Ruth Goddard

Using precise drawings of textbook pages that are then erased away, Goddard reflects on memories from teenage years at a time when apartheid was coming to an end in South Africa. A particularly sharp moment was when all the school textbooks were replaced and she discovered what’s written is not necessarily the “real” history of a place and time.

Ruth Goddard, 'A persistent history', 2011-12, graphite on paper, in 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.
Ruth Goddard, ‘A persistent history’, 2011-12, graphite on paper, in ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.

Adela Jusic

Jusic recalls the Bosnian-Serbian conflict, a memory which is extremely personal and intimate. In her short film, “The Sniper” (2007), we hear Jusic’s voice recounting the record of kills by her sniper father, as her hand scratches out a deep red circle in a piece of paper, gradually revealing the only photo of her father that remains after the conflict.

Adela Jusic, 'The Sniper', 2007, film/animation. Photograph of Jusic's father in uniform holding his sniper's rifle. Image courtesy the artist and www.alancristea.com
Adela Jusic, ‘The Sniper’, 2007, film/animation. Photograph of Jusic’s father in uniform holding his sniper’s rifle. Image courtesy the artist and http://www.alancristea.com

Christiane Baumgartner

Baumgartner’s “Klassnkameraden” (1999) is a photographic work of three prints that in each one layers images of four children, in fact the artist herself, and refers to Bamgartner’s ambivalent memories of childhood in a historical time and place where individuality was eschewed.

Installation view of Christiane Baumgartner's work, 'Klassenkamerdan', 1999, in 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.
Installation view of Christiane Baumgartner’s work, ‘Klassenkamerdan’, 1999, in ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.

Ninar Esber

Esber’s work builds on references to painters such as Jasper Johns, while she refers to flags as deconstructed symbols of national identity. In ‘Conflicted Memory’ the Lebanese artist offers cans of paint containing a colour from some nation’s flag. The wall drawing then is a combination of two colours from the flags of the UK and Mali, chosen by the gallery, and demonstrating her indifference to the importance of flags to represent a country.

Installation view of 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery, May 2013. (l-r) work by Miriam de Burca, Ninar Esber and xx. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.
Installation view of ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. May 2013. (l-r) work by Miriam de Burca, Ninar Esber and Ruth Goddard. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.

K.  Yoland

Yoland’s installation of prints and a short video  “X-Steps Removed” (2009), refers to the conflict in Gaza 2008-9. Together the images and video keep the viewer at a distance while at the same time, they become a countdown to an impending disaster at the edge of the viewer’s vision.

Installation view of K. Yoland's work, 'X-Steps Removed', 2008-9, in 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.
Installation view of K. Yoland’s work, ‘X-Steps Removed’, 2008-9, in ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy Kelise Franclemont and Alan Cristea gallery.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Kaabi-Linke’s wall installation, “Stigmata of the Medina of Tunis” (2008) creates a collage of transfer prints taken from writings on the old city wall of Medina, Tunis.  The prints are an archive of memories, that may be altered or erased at a moment’s notice.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke, 'The Stigmata of the Medina of Tunis', 2008, installation of collage, prints, and ink, in 'Conflicted Memory' at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy www.alancristea.com
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, ‘The Stigmata of the Medina of Tunis’, 2008, installation of collage, prints, and ink, in ‘Conflicted Memory’ at Alan Cristea gallery, London. Image courtesy http://www.alancristea.com

“Although exhibiting in various media- including print, drawing, painting and video- the artists share a contemplative approach to the emotionally-charged themes with which they deal. “  from Visual Artists Ireland online magazine

More info

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Links to more info about the artists

Exhibition details: “Conflicted Memory” at Alan Cristea gallery, 31 Cork St, London W1S 3NU runs from 29 April through 1st June 2013. Free entrance.