It’s hard to picture for those who did not live through it what the troubles were like, the shootings, the bombings, the lost of a loved one. In Silent Testimony by Colin Davidson comes a different way of telling the story. Not a dramatic blockbuster film, or a thought-provoking play or a touristic re-telling of the story to entertain those with a morbid fascination with troubles sites.
These are the images of the people who have suffered as good as first hand. For although they might not have been the direct victims themselves they’re as good as. They’re as good as because they’re the ones left behind, the ones left wondering why it happened; why my loved one? Why me? What Davidson manages to do is capture on canvas with paints and a palet knife the suffering of a generation. The texture of the flesh in Colin Davidson’s portraits. These are people who have lived and who have suffered. The palet knife traces its way through the canvas, leaving it’s mark on the subject; just as the event associated with each person has left its mark on their lives. The eyes of each subject stare back at you with all the hurt, all the pain and all the humanity that their back story has left in their lives.
Silent Testimony is a very apt name for this exhibition because although each portrait comes with a back story for visitors to read, it’s the portraits that do the talking.
If you want to know what the troubles were about, go to this exhibition and read the stories on the faces of people who lived through it.
Silent Testimony is bring shown at the Nerve Visual Gallery, Ebrington, Derry until September and admission is free