About 100 Portraits/100 Poppies: Sitting in Remembrance
In a public call for entry, applicants were asked to draw inspiration from Lt.-Col. John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, and the theme of remembrance in the preparation of proposals for the development of a community art project that would enhance the commemorative experience for residents and visitors exploring Guelph’s downtown core.
Following review of the submissions, the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee recommended awarding the project to Greg Denton. His proposal, entitled, “100 Portraits/100 Poppies: Sitting in Remembrance,” sought to engage Guelph’s veteran and military community in a creative experience that would enhance the city’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the writing of McCrae’s poem.
Over the course of the summer residency Denton created a suite of 100 portrait paintings in oil, depicting living military personnel, cadets, and veterans from the Guelph area, in uniform and wearing a poppy on their lapel. He has also included those without military backgrounds who have been affected by war and loss, or who have been inspired by the poem itself. These 100 portraits honour the presence and contribution of service men and women, past and present, and when assembled, create a strong visual allusion to McCrae’s field of poppies.