Alberta-based artist Sandra Bromley will be bringing her experiences home when she unveils her new exhibit Sandra Bromley: Fire at the Art Gallery of Alberta on May 29, which will be open for viewing until Aug. 2.
Bromley is known for her work with Wallis Kendal on The Gun Sculpture, which was shown internationally, and for the themes of anti-war expressed through her art.
“I fancied myself as a rather well-travelled individual,” Bromley said. “I had spent over three years of my life travelling the world, and I was still completely unprepared for what I encountered when I went to both Cambodia and Sierra Leone.”
During her time in those countries, Bromley researched and documented the experiences of the victims of violence she encountered.
“Why I make the work is to create a connection, not a facile or passing, but I hope that there is an openness that happens, maybe a listening that happens or just simply to think about the issues as far as a personal way, instead of a detached way,” Bromley said.
Haunted by the interviews with child soldiers and bush wives, young girls who have been captured and used as labour and sex slaves, Bromley feels that many people do not fully grasp the horror and atrocities that victims of violence have to endure.
“The other area I’m really interested in is how we hear or listen to descriptions of violence because I think it’s very fashionable in a way; you have a disaster or a conflict someplace, you hear the stories, you perhaps get a little involved, or maybe you donate money or something to it, but then another disaster or war comes along, and it becomes almost like fashion,” Bromley said.