¡Ni Una Más! / Not One More!
Deborah Koenker’s residency ¡Ni Una Más! / Not One More! at Malaspina Printmakers will concentrate on producing a print suite based on several of her installation works concerned with the “disappearances” of girls and women along the Mexican border in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
The title of this work is borrowed from a social justice movement established in 2002 that has attracted international attention to the violence that has claimed the lives of hundreds of women and girls in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua for more than a decade. The use of eyes as a motif draws on the specifically Mexican tradition of milagros, the small charms placed, along with prayers, in Mexican churches. Each pair of eyes in this series is taken from a victim’s photograph, collected by the artist in collaboration with border activists.
Deborah Koenker’s early training in print media and drawing resulted in a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in post-graduate studies at Central St. Martins, London, England. Immigrating to Canada, she was, with others, instrumental in forming Malaspina Printmakers’s workshop in 1975 and served as the first Workshop Director. She earned a MFA in 1985 from the Claremont Graduate School, California. Since then, she has continued to use print methods in mixed media installations that are largely concerned with social-political themes and transformative justice.
Koenker’s work has been exhibited widely in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, as well as internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Galería Manuel Felguérez, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City; Ayuntamiento de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain; Línea de Costa, Cádiz, Spain; and in Vancouver, at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery, and the Or Gallery. She has completed numerous artist residencies, including the Canada Council Paris Studio, International Studio Program. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, in Dawson City, Yukon, and has a solo exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery, from July 15 to October 30, 2016. She recently left her position as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr University to concentrate on her studio practice.