Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daniel's Art

After my brother Samuel, comes my brother Daniel. A Senior and Graphics Design major at the University here in town, he recently took part in another student art show. Being a Botkin, he is, of course, good at what he does. His style reminds me of his scribbled pictures that covered the kitchen table 10 and 15 years ago. Except he is better at proportions now. I got a few pictures of him and some of his screen print work.

This is my favorite piece of Daniel's. At first glance, it does look very alien. But after reading the text screen printed next to the hand, the picture is very sobering:

I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen...

One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect...

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Source: Imperial War museum

1 comment:

  1. What a cool, heart wrenching story.

    I just discovered your mom's painting a day blog. I am impressed.