Rwanda: Personal Images – Artwork by Vivian Bower

In her series of pastel drawings, Vivian Bower responds to the genocide that took place in Rwanda during 1994 and 1995 when 500,000-1,000,000 Tutsis were brutally massacred by Hutu friends, family, and colleagues. Turning to her work as the only action she could take, she created drawings using Xerox images of victims and borrowing language from media’s description of the genocide.

Images were created using texture and mark that both obscure and reveal these images just as the bodies were buried and later exposed. Bower drew featureless heads floating in a space to represent the dehumanization of these acts of violence.

This work is personal, not political. Bower’s intention is to confront the truth and to express her pain and horror. Perhaps this work will encourage viewers to reflect on and recognize that the words “never again,” spoken after the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide or other mass murders, must begin to resonate in our consciousness.

  • Exhibition includes 28 framed pastels and labels
  • Requires approximately 150 linear feet
  • Loan fee – $2000 (plus freight)