Unique ex­hibit to open

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Stanstead

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-

Photo cour­tesy

Real refugee sto­ries are part of the ex­hibit.

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