"Canadians on Juno Beach, Normandy, 2007"
Oil on Panel
Unframed size 48 x 38 in.
Framed size 48 1/2 x38 1/2 in.
Artist’s Comments (Artist’s Comments are intended solely for those viewers who would appreciate more information on the motivations and processes involved in each painting. They are not intended to direct how anyone might respond to or interpret my work.)
This painting is part of the "Europe Series", paintings based on a trip to Europe with our granddaughter.
The young people on Juno beach, the site of the Canadian landing on D-day, are all university students (my granddaughter is the one in the middle, the others are her friends), who in their courses have extensively studied WW II. They enthusiastically asked me to drive them from Paris to Normandy to see Juno Beach. I found it interesting watching what they would do on this now peaceful beach. They collected and arranged small stones into patterns, danced and sunbathed. The irony of their sunbathing, where so many young people of their very age fought and died, was not lost on them.
Further irony was evident in some of the situations that occurred naturally on the beach that day, things that would have a quite different meaning on D Day:
-My granddaughter shading her eyes: the action looked very much like a salute.
-One girl fixing her hair: prisoner of war position:
-Young man lying flat on a red mottled blanket: injured or dead soldier.
-Red bottle: blood transfusion bottle.
-Reading book: checking war-related strategy.
-Everyday footwear: army boots.