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EDITORIAL: Exhibit has to be seen to be believed

Editorial - SaltWire Network

Pictures just do not do it justice. Sure, you can look online and see photos of Jackie Sheppard Alcock’s Forget-Me-Not First World War exhibit, but it won’t be the same.

Seeing it exhibited gives much more credence as the true intricacies of the works on display, and it has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

The project was four years in the making, but it has been about a dozen years since the seeds were first sown to come up with the conception for it.

There is no doubt Jackie Sheppard Alcock has put not only her artistic talents but her own time and talents into making this project become a reality, and one that people can enjoy, no matter where it’s exhibited.

Currently the exhibit is at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre and will remain there until Oct. 26. Then it goes to Corner Brook at the Rotary Arts Centre from Nov. 5-27. It will be open at that location on Remembrance Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. following ceremonies close by.

It’s absolutely amazing how much time Sheppard Alcock put into this exhibit. It includes hooked rugs, wall hangings and collages with intricate details, including many thousands of forget-me-nots hand-sewn into the hooked rugs.

Add to that the many months of researching to find out the correct numbers of people involved in the wars, and to attain the photographs of the people who died in Afghanistan or who died even before getting there. It is absolutely amazing.

The displays include the First World War, the return of people from Corner Brook from the Second World War who lived in the Westmount Road area, the Korean War and the timeline (2002-11) of those lost in that modern era war.

But Sheppard Alcock didn’t stop there, as she also features Canadian Peacekeepers from 1950 to 2011.

Putting this exhibit together and doing thousands of forget-me-nots and hundreds of poppies for those lost in Korea, and photos of those who unfortunately didn’t make it back from Afghanistan, no doubt took a toll on the artist.

To offset that, she did a special hooked rug of The Viking Mermaid, meant as the last piece in the exhibit, noting that these soldiers died not for the sake of killing, but for the hope of peace.

They wanted to give the world a place where they can choose, know where their families were safe and be able to express themselves. They wanted people to smile and be safe.

Canadians still feel that today despite what is happening to them around the world.

Unfortunately she didn’t get any provincial financing to support the exhibit, but went ahead with it anyway, financing it through the sales of other works she had done.

Sheppard Alcock’s exhibit has to be seen to be believed, and witnessing it firsthand is the only way to appreciate it. Bay St. George area people can see it until Oct. 26 and Corner Brook and area residents can check it out Nov. 5-27.

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