Artist Barb Hunt says she is a pacifist, and her parents were pacifists, too, yet she's a big fan of the men and women who serve in the Canadian Forces.
"I'm a supporter of the military, and that's really easy to do in Canada, because I think we have a fabulous military," said Hunt.
Hunt was at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum (EAGM) September 19 for the opening reception for her "Lest We Forget" exhibit, which is in Gallery 1. She said it's a tribute to those who have perished or suffered from war, and it's a statement against war.
"Lest we Forget" takes viewers on a circle of combats, from her grandfather, Standish Hunt, who was a machine gunner in the trenches during the First World War, to her tribute to Canada's soldiers who served in the Afghanistan conflict. She also includes a couple exhibits that have fabric stones in Morse code.
"The first one says … 'The birds sing so merrily,' and he (my grandfather) wrote this from the trenches in World War I," said Hunt. "And then the second part … says 'They do not seem to understand there is a war on.'
"He was so shocked by what he saw in the war, and he wrote about not what he saw, but his complete disbelief of what was happening."
She believes her grandfather's experiences contributed to her family's perspective on war.
Her tribute to more modern combat comes through small pieces of torn fabrics from the uniforms of Canadian soldiers who served during the Bosnian conflict. A flower is cut out of each fabric. There is a piece of fabric on the wall for every Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.
"The flower comes from a Newfoundland shroud," said Hunt, who current resides in Newfound-Labrador. "In Newfoundland, in the old days, the dead would be wrapped in the shroud that had flowers cut out of it, so that it looked like lace."
She hopes that when people see the exhibit, they appreciate the work ethic of Canadian soldiers because of the wear-and-tear on the uniforms.
Hunt's father was a merchant Marine radio operator during the Second World War, but her parents were gentle people, Hunt said. They farmed north of Toronto, and they eventually moved to the U.S. They were in the U.S. during the Vietnam War, which gave her family a glimpse at how war affects families.
"Lest we Forget" will remain at the EAGM until November 15.