We walked in the Pacific Spirit Park today after listening to President Zelenskyy’s impassioned address to the Canadian Parliament in which we learnt that ninety seven children have been tragically killed in his beloved country together with so many of the country’s brave men and women and now including three brave journalists. Our condolences and thoughts are with all the families, friends and colleagues grieving today.
This drawing is from a larger piece from 2017 drawn in protest at that time to an event that had produced the same sense of heartbreak and outrage that I know we all feel today. Some of you may remember the full piece can be seen here: “From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark”
These sunflowers are a message of love and support as we continue to Stand with Ukraine.
As the horrors and heartbreak of each day continue in Ukraine the photo of a little six-year-old girl lying lifeless on a gurney in a hospital in Mariupol under the coat she was wearing just an hour or two before, has been seared into my mind. The doctors who fought so hard to try and save her life exclaimed after she died “Show this to Putin.” These simple drawings loudly echo their words as, with broken hearts, we all continue to Stand With Ukraine.
On today’s third anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack in Barcelona this recent painting of bark from the magnificent trees in the Pacific Spirit Park serves to re-introduce my post from three years ago entitled “From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark” in which my painting of the park that day became transformed into a memorial for all those so tragically lost, as we remember them once again on this sombre day.
From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark – August 18th, 2017
Spirit Dark after Guernica, in progress
The evolution of today’s post:
The Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver is a beautiful jewel in our city, a place of peace and tranquility that I have posted about many times, and as recently as this week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post. On our last visit there one of my photos inspired me…
…to set up a number of sheets of newsprint on the studio wall and see where it took me with charcoal, crayon and paint.
I was happy that the image was progressing well and was close to being finished…
…and then yesterday morning came the news from Spain of the horrific terrorist attack killing and injuring countless innocent men, women and children from all over the world, enjoying a summer’s evening in Las Ramblas in Barcelona. The images were heartbreaking, and one particularly was unforgettable, a baby’s stroller abandoned on the sidewalk and a child lying motionless in the street.
I shall never forget the first time I saw Picasso’s Guernica in New York in 1965. It has haunted me ever since, and those images from Barcelona immediately brought it back to me. It is perhaps one of the greatest works of protest art ever created, painted by Picasso after the attack on the city of Guernica in 1937.
Suddenly my Spirit Park in the studio seemed a million miles away from the reality of the carnage and horror happening across the sea, and images relating to another time in history started to appear amongst the trees together with that stroller and that beautiful innocent child.
As I send sympathy and condolences to all those suffering from yet another crime against humanity, Spirit Dark in some small way is my way of protesting these evil times.
One more photo from that morning in the park perhaps allows me to end with a ray of hope in our dark world.
Post Script 17.8.20
Two years ago in October 2018 visiting the Reina Sofia in Madrid was a special day on our memorable trip to Spain, the highlight of which was seeing Picasso’s Guernica for the second time in over fifty years having first seen it in New York in 1965. Once again, standing before the painting, it takes one’s breath away with its impact as an artistic statement against the horrors of war and of man’s inhumanity to man. Sadly so little seems to have changed in our present times as we see dictators and autocrats across the world continuing to demonstrate that same inhumanity as they terrorize their own people and attempt to prevent democracies from flourishing. To my American friends all I can say is VOTE.
The painting was finished this year.