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Woman and Child, by Helen Wilson

Woman and Child, by Helen Wilson


Woman and Child , a painting by Helen Wilson.

This painting is based on a woman I met in the AVEGA village of Kimironko. There were twenty women in the room. This womans eyes caught my attention. Her expression did not change and her eyes told a very tragic story. She told me that she had been raped and lost seven children. The woman had AIDS and was waiting to die. She said that she was looking forward to dying and joining her family. She believed that she would be re-united with her children. The child in the painting is not her son (I did not have a picture of him). The image is inspired by a photograph in Gilles Peress book The Silence of a dead child covered with lime lying on a rubbish dump. Although the woman is not looking at the child, there is a connection betwen the two.

AVEGA is the association of widows of the genocide, which works to improve the lives of women who have lost their husbands.

Helen Wilson is an artist who lives and works in Bristol.
In 2002, she visited Rwanda, where she met surviviors of the genocide in 1994.
Genocide means the planned or ordered killing of a racial or cultural group.

As a result of this visit, Helen returned,
…with a clear mission: to express through my artwork as much about Rwanda as it is today. I would paint the Rwanda I had seen, the beauty and the tragedy, and the dignity and grace of its people in the aftermath of the genocide.

These paintings formed a temporary display at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in 2003, called Making Sense – a Rwandan Story.

Creator: Helen Wilson

Date: 2003

Copyright: Copyright Helen Wilson

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