Remembrance Day

In keeping with the seasonal nature of our blog, today’s post will cover the theme of Remembrance Day. In the past, this day has been an occasion to recognize the sacrifices of those of our citizens who fought in wars. Lately, however, I feel it has been increasingly used to celebrate militarism. I have chosen an image which I feel is a more realistic depiction of the “glories” of war.

In this painting, the angel has obviously arrived too late, but she seems deaf, blind and unable to give much relief anyway. Her hair was inspired by a crazy clown wig that the kids had for Hallowe’en, but I like the way the colours animate the whole scene. I started the picture after reading a novel on the First World War. The markers are inspired by military crosses to be seen in any of our cemeteries. I think that I’ve done a good job of showing the less glorious side of conflict.

Angel of Mercy by Barry Trower (2012).
Angel of Mercy by Barry Trower (2012).

In the First World War, my wife’s grandfathers fought on the German side, while mine fought for the English as Canadian infantry. It is strange to think of them all signing up to kill each other. Because of their different outcomes, war is marked in very different ways in the two countries. It should never be used to promote patriotism, which is the sort of thing that starts wars. In the words of Lao Tzu, “conduct your victory as a funeral”.

See you next week with a cheerier theme,

Barry

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