Deryk at Ogden Point, Victoria, BC. (photo by Elizabeth)
WOODWYNN PEACE GARDEN
From 2013 to the present, a main project has been the Woodwynn Peace Garden at Woodwynn Farms, a therapeutic community for the homeless. The Peace Garden includes a labyrinth with herbs, fruits and vegetables incorporated.
The following is from a Face Book exchange in reference to tent city in Victoria BC.
Jean (My sister)
I know we need to help them Deryk, however, I also believe that sometimes they don’t want help. They interviewed a number on the news (and Yes, I know that this is not by any means all of their opinions), but when told that the government was going to provide two locations with rooms, food, etc for them, these people said no way they were moving, that they had the “right” to stay where they were. So It’s definately a difficult one. I think we have to try to help as many as possible so that they never get to this stage, whether its mental health, drug or alcohol issues that take them there, they need counselling, services, training, whatever it takes to prevent them getting to this place in their life.
I can see why you might think that Jean. At first I was also confused when they said that they wouldn’t move and I was frustrated to hear that, But… as you listen more closely……what they are saying is that they are taking a stand so that the government will hear their request to spend the money necessary to build them proper homes and give them the proper support. Here’s just one simple example. Right now the Canadian government forces people with schizophrenia to pay interest on their student loans even though they can’t work. The interest just keeps pilling up into astronomical amounts. That’s just one tiny example of how our governments don’t care about these human beings. These people with mental illness and drug dependancies keep getting moved around from floor mats to floor mats …always half measures.No support. The people in this tent city are demanding proper housing instead of floor mats, head lice, and physical abuse. And to make that point, they are going to stay where they are and not simply be shuffled out of sight to a local church with a half inch floor mat to sleep on. When you see their goal in this light, then their demand for being treated with some dignity makes more sense. If our governments really cared they would be spending more money on all the other support services as you suggested. Instead they take them in the front door only to slide them quietly out the back door. I’ve see this first hand. The lack of caring is unbelievable. If someone was going to jump off a bridge we wouldn’t let them do that. We reach out a caring hand and insist on looking after them. I’m not talking about arresting them. I mean we care for them. This is not being done in Canada. Our local Mayor, Lisa Helps, is hamstrung by all levels of government. Having said that, I would like to see her raising absolute hell with all levels of government on behalf of these people. I would offer them a room in the Empress Hotel and give them a guarantee that they will be placed in a proper home and I would send Ottawa the bill. I’d force Ottawa’s hand. I don’t see that happening yet. The people that are in the tent city are trying to make that point. They are trying to force our governments to completely change how we care for them.
The “LOVE” opening reception and fund raiser on February 12th was
fantastic. It was fun to dress in costume for this very special event.
We were very fortunate to have the very talented “Tiny Islands” trio
with our daughter Amy Hall on cello, playing Beatles’ songs live. We
raised money for Creating Homefulness – Woodwynn Farms , Sole Food
Street Farms and the Save on Meats token program – all to benefit the
homeless. And the “LOVE” exhibition itself — it’s been a pleasure to
have the opportunity to share my paintings. See my other blog postings
for details of each painting exhibited in this show. If you missed the event,
you can still see the work at Art Works in Vancouver, BC http://www.artworksbc.com until Mar. 6th.
Fund raising efforts are continuing until Mar. 6th as well. The gallery
is selling $5 raffle tickets for Rain a tribute to the Beatles on April
20th with dinner at Hamilton Street Grill. Thank you for your support in
helping us to change our small corner of the world by helping those that
need help the most.
Many thanks to those that helped: @YBIA, Hamilton Street Grill, Pan
Pacific, Genesis Publications Limited, Jonalyn Siemans of Designer’s
Guild, Brix, Hub, Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites, Pagliacci’s
restaurant, BC Ferries, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles , Select Wines,
Czechrose Natural Therapy Massage Clinic & all the volunteers that
pitched in. THANK YOU! Love to all of you & have a Happy Valentines!
Story: Imagine, by John Lennon is an iconic song for me. Our world hasn’t learned how to make peace.
Our best leaders continue to try and bomb people into submission in the hope that we can own the whole pie. The idea of sharing is lost every time. There are lots of fancy words used. I am aware that he wasn’t perfect. But in his song “Imagine” ………….. he got it. That’s what I like about John Lennon.
Story: I was thinking uniform and buttons. I always liked the way Rembrandt painted the buttons on peoples jackets. At a distance they appeared shiny, polished and detailed looking buttons, but when you look at the brush strokes of the painting up close, the buttons are amazingly abstract.
It was a very cold morning at sunrise and Amy played Eleanor Rigby on her cello. She was a good sport to stick it out for a couple of hours until we got the drone shots of her and of the site. I created the painting listening to Amy’s music in the studio. Samuel Houston’s sculpture is in the centre of the labyrinth where Amy is seated.
This is George Harrison’s song and apparently he composed it on a day he escaped from one of those boring business meetings of the Beatles. It is a positive song but it also has a dark side. Or at least it does to me.
I can’t help thinking of the worries at the time of a nuclear war and the sun having another meaning. This is why I’ve also included the lines “Over and Over Again” up the side of the work in the black area.(Eve of Destruction: Barry McGuire ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I
Exhibiton “LOVE”, at Art Works Gallery in Vancouver, BC., Feb 12th, 2016
Story: This song hits the bullseye in every way for people around the world who believe in the idea of Peace. I feel it points to possible alternatives to creating a better world. Lennon didn’t always stick to the right path or say the right things. He made mistakes like all human beings do. But it is a start in the right direction and gives many of us hope that their are answers to some of the difficulties facing countries in conflict.
I had a lot of fun doing this large painting. The process is mostly something I have in my head after thinking about it for several days or even weeks. So when I am working on creating the peace garden at Woodwynn farms, moving wheelbarrows of soil etc., I’ll be thinking about the song and moving ideas around in my head. When I actually start the painting, I just go with my instincts and shove the paint around as my feelings direct me. I made a video of this painting as I worked on it and I will add it here by the end of January.(2016) The painting process might be interesting to artists who like to paint or people who collect my work.
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Story: Everyone just loves this song by Ringo and so do I.
Once again I was interested in the back story of how Ringo came up with the idea in the first place. Apparently he needed to get away from the hum drum of meetings,legal stuff and nonsense that often filled their lives and so he went fishing instead. While out on the boat he learned about octopuses and how they gather bright, colourful objects and lay them out around their little cave.
Ringo was on Peter Sellers’ motor yacht,the Amelfis, when he wrote this song. The name of the boat tells us something about Peter Sellers because “Amelfi” means, you like to make your own decisions and to be the master of your domain. What a great name for a boat. That’s why I put it up the side of the painting. I felt Ringo fitted the same description. He always struck me as being master of his own world. I really liked how he did so many different things and just had fun.
3 minute video: “Changing Our World One Corner at a Time”
Title: “Back in the USSR”
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Size: 24″X 36″
Story: I always loved this song because of my experience in the former
Soviet Union. I was fascinated by the changes about to take place there
and felt that the world might have a chance after all. Mikhail Gorbachev
described how the Soviet Union system was not working. He also said that
the west’s capitalist system also needed change.
The Soviet Union went through radical change. The west on the other
hand, simply announced victory.
Paul McCartney said that he loved how young people could always reach
out to other cultures…..”hands across the water” he said, and I
included that thought in this painting because I agreed.