"Seventy Times Seven" detail, Odia Reimer (Odia Reimer)
I think maybe just maybe if I am able to hold it, feel it, turn it over in my hands it will feel valid and real and the whole process will in some way be worth it.
—Odia Reimer, artist
INDESCRIBABLE: It is About Murder, a new art exhibit at the Canadian Mennonite University, features work by family of Candace Derksen, who went missing in 1984 at age 13 and whose body was found six weeks later in a shed. The show follows their journey through the years of coming to terms with their loss and the two decades to the conviction of her murderer.
The exhibition features the work of Cliff as well as his daughter Odia Reimer, Candace's sister. Cliff's contribution includes sculptures, as well as the sketches that he drew in the courtroom during the trial. Odia's work includes a series of 66 photographs retracing Candace's final walk from the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute to the construction site where her body was found six weeks later. She also crocheted a collection of 490 tears which are suspended from a frame.
SCENE asked Odia to reflect on what transformative art looks like.
There are some things in my life that I choose, and then there are some things that have chosen me, creativity is one that has chosen me. It pushes and pushes, its a moving force that I just can't stop. If I am not creating actual art, I am usually doing something else, always moving, always thinking of what I can make next. It's when I stop that I start to worry. That's when I know that I am low and in pain and I need to ask the question that will pull me out of the fog.
It sounds so simple but it's amazing the transforming affect this question has on my internal state of being. It pulls me out of whatever valley I was in and moves me forward. I know that as I formulate the form, texture and physicality of the emotion I am giving life to, this action and the eventual end result validates what I was feeling and helps me understand what that fog was about. It propels me forward and makes me move through the dark emotions and walk into a healthy place of being.
What does pain look like? What does loss look like? What does enduring look like? What does the journey look like? What does forgiveness look like? What does love look like?
These are all questions that I have mulled over, processed and some have made it into actual artistic form. I think maybe just maybe if I am able to hold it, feel it, turn it over in my hands it will feel valid and real and the whole process will in some way be worth.