At Peace, At Last; 2016
16” x 20”; Acrylic on canvas panel
I was revisiting photos and came across one of poppies in our former garden.
The poppy is such a beloved motif, both for the simplicity and beauty of the flower itself and for all the symbolism that it has acquired over the last 100 years.
My first renderings of the image were in watercolour with the flowers just floating on the plain page.
I felt a deeper connection taking place with my initial images which evolved into a profound expression of peace and release. Taking the significance of the poppy to World War 1, I began to see the “floating” poppies as a metaphor for the souls of those who died finding some kind of peace and release from the horrors of the battlefield.
I view this metaphor as positive, peaceful and even happy.
I think of my Grandfather who, as a boy of 17, spent a few short months in the trenches in World War 1 before being taken prisoner and held for 3 years. Whilst this was experience held its own horrors, it quite possibly saved his life – and consequently gave me mine.