Reading about the Vale strike that lasted from mid-July 2009 to mid-July 2010 was inspiring for local artist Malinda Prud'homme.
The 25-year-old is the daughter of a Vale employee, and had a number of friends who were also affected by the labour lockout. She knows couples that separated because of the stress of the strike, and had friends who had to sell their homes and vehicles.
The mixed media artist found herself using pastels with copies of Northern Life newspapers as her canvas, “to outline the hardships some people go through” during a strike, with hopes of clearing up some “misconceptions” some people had about the strike.
Prud'homme said comments made by some, that suggested the strikers were being selfish and greedy, “truly bothered me.”
“(They're) fighting for a cause,” she said.
It's the reason she opted to bring light to the situation through art. She drew sad miners faces, pictures of strikers picketing and even homes with “For Sale” signs on them.
Her pieces have since been sold to an American buyer, but Prud'homme said they were useful in expressing the negative effects of the strike at the time.
Since the strike ended, Prud'homme has moved to Toronto where she teaches high school. She still creates and sells art part-time. For more information about her work, visit www.malindaprudhomme.etsy.com.
- Posted by Laurel Myers