It was during a visit to Beaumont Hamel in France that the idea for Jackie Sheppard Alcock’s current exhibit at the Stephenville Arts and Culture was formed.
At the time she was doing a three-month stint in England as part of her Fine Arts program, when she and husband Gary Alcock took the trip to Beaumont Hamel and saw that the first name on the caribou monument was Augustus Alcock, a cousin of Gary’s.
Another connection for the Corner Brook artist is that her grandfather Francis Sheppard from Lark Harbour was in the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.
Sheppard Alcock said she knew she wanted to do something and that spark turned into a flame when there was talk about the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
“I thought about making Forget-Me-Nots, the Newfoundland flower of Remembrance, for every soldier who served in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and that morphed into making them for everyone,” she said.
The exhibit, which ended up being a four-year project, features thousands of Forget-Me-Nots, sewn into or glued on different types of wall hangings. There are also 516 poppies sewn into a wall hanging representing those who were involved in the Korean War.
The display also features an Afghanistan timeline (2002-2011) and features posters with photos of the 158 people that died there or died in some way while associated with that conflict.
The exhibit was already hung in Grand Falls-Windsor and will be at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre until Oct. 27, then go to the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook on display from Nov. 5-27, with an opening from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Remembrance Day.
The Forget-Me-Not project is the Canadian content for the November issue of the Rug Hooking magazine.
At each venue, buttons and magnets designed by Sheppard Alcock are being sold with half of the proceeds going to the local Royal Canadian Legion in that particular community.
Forget-Me Not project:
Piece 1 – 6,715 Forget-me-nots sewn to a used army blanket. One for every Royal Newfoundland member who served overseas in the First World War.
Piece 2 – 1,274 Forget-me-nots in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Collage for those who stayed in Newfoundland.
Piece 3 – 1,900 Forget-me-nots on a hooked rug for the Royal Navy.
Piece 4 – 1,500 Forget-me-nots on a wall hanging for the Merchant Marines.
Piece 5 – 526 Forget-me-nots on a hooked rug for Forestry.
Piece 6 – 179 Forget-me-nots on a hooked rug for Voluntary Aid Detachment.
Piece 7 – 3,000 Plus Forget-me-nots on a collage for others who served in the Canadian, British or United States Forces. Killed unknown.