“One of these beautiful prints stands tall on my desk as I write these words and fills me with inspiration, and gratitude that good is everywhere, and hope that peace is not illusive.”Diane Taylor
This series explores how art can change our lives and bring more beauty, connection, and community to the world.
Northumberland Festival of the Arts will take place across Northumberland County from September 16 – October 2, 2022.
If the toilet is leaking, we can call a plumber. If squirrels have breached the attic, we can block their entry. However, what can we do when, on the other side of the world, a global power sends missiles and bombs into a neighbouring country and we witness the flames and tanks and people fleeing on our TV screens?
Indeed, I was wondering, what can I do? If only there was something.
Just a bit north of me, not far from Warkworth, a young couple was not wondering. They took action. Two days after the invasion, they saw the video that went viral of a Ukrainian woman confronting an armed Russian soldier and saying: “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.”
Because they were artists as well as farmers, the couple immediately created a lino print of Ukraine’s national flower, the sunflower, with a blue vase of vibrant yellow sunflowers in the top half, and the not-soon-to-be forgotten words of the resolute woman in the bottom half.
All 54 of the limited edition 6˝x12˝ prints sold within days and 100% of the funds were divided among three nonprofits working in Ukraine. One of these beautiful prints stands tall on my desk as I write these words and fills me with inspiration, and gratitude that good is everywhere, and hope that peace is not illusive.
This brilliant sunflower print is the soul voice of Bekky O’Neil and Keith Del Principe and immortalizes the words of an indomitable Ukrainian woman. As Bekky once said, “We know that art can feed you.” So true. Many thanks to Bekky and Keith for the inspiring action they took in response to the unprovoked attack on the other side of the world.
To learn more about them, click here.
Memoir is Diane’s preferred genre, which is why she wrote The Perfect Galley Book, and later The Gift of Memoir. In memoir, you offer what you have learned by means of your stories, by leaving visible tracks behind you. Diane taught English as a Second Language to Haitian refugees in Miami, and in high schools and colleges in Ontario. Until recently, she gave a course in memoir writing in several Ontario libraries.
Northumberland Festival of the Arts is a volunteer-run not-for-profit arts organization.
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2 Comments Add yours
A lovely, empowering post about a thoughtful initiative, Diane. We can all help in some way.
Thanks for sharing your warm experience of how art can be an instrument of enhanced awareness and even of potential change, Diane!