Two Huntsville residents have created an art display honouring the people of Ukraine, as war rages on in the country.
Local activists Joyce Crone and Robyn Taylor worked over the weekend to put up the display in storefront of The Great Vine on Huntsville’s Main Street.
“I wanted to make the window display on behalf of the people of Ukraine, but I also wanted to show the reality,” says Crone. “The window display is showing life and showing death, it’s showing good and evil, it’s really showing total opposites.”
One side of the display is marked with the blue and yellow of Ukraine, and bears culturally significant items.
The wheat bushel signifies the country’s moniker as “the bread basket of Europe.” The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower, and since the start of the war has become a symbol of resistance. Two dolls are also present– a nesting “babushka” doll, and one depicting traditional Ukrainian regalia.
The other side, Crone says, represents how the Russian invasion has turned life in the country “upside down”.
“When we put this together, we thought ‘what could you put in a bag in two minutes and take with you’,” says Crone. “Your whole lives? No, you would leave the majority of your material things behind in your home. And so some of the items include baby shoes, and kitchen items, and a child’s bear.”
Being an Indigenous woman, Crone says she feels a particular affinity for the suffering and cultural destruction the war has caused.
“I really do feel the people of Ukraine are also Indigenous. They have a culture, they have traditions, they have a language,” says Crone. “Those things create their identity, and to have their identity totally stripped away in a moment, in a bomb, having to become a refugee, is devastating.
Crone says she hopes the piece will inspire people to show their support in whatever way they can, particularly by sending funds to families displaced by the war.