Irish Artist’s “Dark Heart” is on Exhibition at the U.N.

Michelle Rogers' "Procession Srebenica."

By Declan O'Kelly, Contributor
August September 2005

At the outset of the first Gulf War, Irish artist Michelle Rogers painted a series about the conflict. Her work garnered attention from Amnesty International, which in 1993 commissioned her to paint and live in Bosnia. The result is called the “Dark Heart” series, which is currently on display at the UN Plaza as part of an exhibit marking the ten-year anniversary of the Srebenica Massacre.

“Initially I did some small paintings for Amnesty as I was requested,” said the artist, “but I found that I could not shake the rage I felt and continued working. Four and a half years later I finished this series.”

The massacre began in July 1995, when the Bosnian Serb Army under Ratko Mladic committed one of the worst atrocities since the Second World War. Though no official numbers are available, the casualties are estimated at over 8,000.

The exhibition will highlight the human tragedy and suffering caused by the genocide.

Rogers was born in Newry, County Down and brought up in Dundalk, County Louth, which is just south of the border with Northern Ireland. She graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology and currently resides in Rome. No stranger to the art community in New York, Rogers has exhibited in the Caelum gallery in Chelsea and at the Irish Arts Center, where she showed a painting commemorating 9/11. At the moment, her exhibit at the Museum of Art in Guadalajara, Mexico is coming to an end.

One of Rogers’ “Dark Heart” pieces, “Procession Srebenica,” won the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) prize for the most promising young talent of 1997 in Dublin, and later sold for a record RHA price.

As well as Michelle’s work, the exhibition will feature work from 18 other artists from around the world. The artists are the winners of a contest that was held to find the most outstanding and relevant works on this subject matter. The exhibition runs from July 11 through July 31, 2005. ♦

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