Featuring delicate, laser-cut panels influenced by a traditional Polish paper-cutting craft called wycinanki, Diana Forster: Somewhere to Stay at Kirkcaldy Galleries tells the story of her mother’s war-time odyssey with her family across three continents prompted by the Russian invasion of eastern Poland in 1940. They were among 1.7 million Poles forced from their homes by Stalin’s troops and transported to labour camps.
Also included are 18 prints and Cabbage patch, a sculpture of ghostly white cabbages, etched with teeth marks, resting on spent rifle cartridge cases. The sculpture reflects the harshness of life in a Siberian labour camp. As inmates starved, guards grew vegetables that detainees were forbidden to eat. At night children would crawl unseen under fencing to nibble cabbage leaves.
The exhibition is part of the Visualising War and Peace project based at the University of St Andrews, which seeks to shed fresh light on the struggles faced by refugees during conflict.