Work by Eileen Campbell :: Poem by Gerda Stevenson
Born Dunscore, Dumfriesshire, 1897, on a small farm; died Auschwitz, 1944; Church of Scotland missionary; matron in the girls’ home of the Jewish Mission Station in Budapest; the only Scot to be officially honoured for giving her life for Jews in the Holocaust.
From Quines by Gerda Stevenson
Gerda’s use of the Scots language in her poem about Jane Haining defines the poignancy and heart break of her life and death so well and made me want to create my textile response to it.
There is artistic license in my interpretation – Jane does not have a copper street tile in Mitte in Berlin and she didn’t wear a striped jacket but they are included as iconic representations of the horrors of the holocaust. The unsettling unparallel shape was inspired a visit to Daniel Liebeskind’s Holocaust Museum in Berlin, the wire over-structure is a symbol of Auschwitz and the well of coloured triangles represents all the other people deemed unfitting by the Third Reich and sent to their death.
And the landscape beyond is her minding of home and her ‘simmer days o bairnhood’.