Unique exhibit to open
June 16th marks the opening of the Vieux Forgeron art gallery in Stanstead with ‘Response to the Land’, an exhibition of floral art and painting by husband/wife duo Linda and Charles Peacock from Fitch Bay, Quebec, and ‘Response of Humans: Greece, Refugees, and Love’, a collaboration of voices from Greece put together by Jackie Heim. The vernissage is on Friday, June 17 from 5-7.
Inspired by the natural fauna of the West coast of British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, and her native Quebec, Fitch Bay resident Linda Peacock has always been drawn to collecting materials found in nature and creating something from them. With a background in interior and floral design, Linda uses common botanicals from her immediate surroundings as well as exotics and arranges them into sculpted art, contrasting texture, color and form to highlight the distinctive quality of each element. The result is often stunning, such as the rose pink color of dried seaweed from the ocean against witch hazel and dried lotus pod stems or bauhinia seed pods mounted on a royal pond frond. Each piece is completely unique from the other but their commonality is their gracefulness.
Charles Peacock was born in England and brought up on a farm on the Suffolk/ Essex borders, reminiscent of the landscape here in the Townships. Inspired by his surroundings, Charles starting painting at a young age. In later years he moved to Lennoxville, Qc. to take up a teaching contract, continuing his career in Victoria, BC but it was in 2010 when he and Linda decided to return to this part of the world where the landscape has stayed so close to his heart and reminds him still, of England where he was raised. Throughout the years, wherever he lived, he took inspiration for his painting from the landscape around him.
What is the story behind the individual who risks their life crossing a sea in small flimsy rubber boats made for 12 but packed with more than 45 people? What are they living now and how do they feel? This past year Greece has seen over 1 million migrants land on its shores, people escaping war and brutality in search of a safe place to live.
The world responded and people came from far to assist the locals in meeting the needs of the refugees on these tiny islands. We heard their stories and our hearts broke open. Bonds were formed and the situation as a ‘news story’ back home became very real, this could have been our own mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, there is no difference. They became family.
It was during Jackie Heim’s second stint of working in solidarity in Greece that she recorded and interviewed refugees, volunteers, and local Greeks. A lifelong belief that we all have something to say that matters, we all have a story, and that it is so important that we hear each other to deepen understanding and compassion in the world, ‘Response of Humans: Greece, Refugees, and Love’ is a collaboration of people’s testimonies. It is an attempt to bridge the divide that happens when we are so removed from crisis’ on the other side of the world, to make what is happening more real, and to hear and see the human face.
This exhibition runs from June 16th - July 3 with a vernissage on Friday June 17th., from 5-7. Gallery hours are Thurs-Sun, 11-6 pm. www.levieuxforgeron. com.
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission completed its work last year, it issued a document identifying "calls to action" to redress the legacy of residential schools and to advance the process of reconciliation with Canadian indigenous peoples.
Studio Georgeville wanted to respond to the call to action in the domain of culture by bringing the work of aboriginal artists to a non-native audience and trying to promote an understanding of aboriginal life and culture. The result is an aboriginal arts festival that starts on June 18 and continues until July 17.
"It's the most ambitious project that we've under-
Real refugee stories are part of the exhibit.