Military spouse’s painting to remember the fallen needs votes by Feb 20th
Your vote could make Dolly Bolen's painting a larger than life billboard in Alberta.
Bolen created the painting to honour the fallen in Afghanistan four years ago. She recently entered her artwork in a contest on the web site: ArtUponRequest.ca.
The premise of the contest is for an artist to create a conversation about their art. The more people that comment on the artist’s work, the better chance the artist will have of making the final top three cut, which will be decided by a jury. The top three paintings will be posted on a billboard in Alberta.
“The reason I would like Northern Tears to appear on a billboard is because more Canadians would see it and perhaps realize just what our Canadian soldiers have given up to serve their country,” said Bolen.
Bolen got her inspiration for her painting from her husband and his service overseas.
While her husband was on his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2002, four Canadian troops were killed when an American fighter jet dropped its bombs on them while they were training at night.
At the time her husband suggested to the battle group that an Inukshuk be built to honour the four fallen men. “They chose the Inukshuk because they wanted a symbol that was very Canadian and to guide the fallen home,” explains Bolen, who researched the background of the Insukshuk while her husband was overseas.
Since then, the Inukshuk in Afghanistan has become a symbol to commemorate all the Canadian and coalition troops who have lost their lives while serving there. Bolen came up with the idea to honour the four fallen men when she met their families at the Canada Remembers Air Show in Saskatoon. Bolen’s husband was part of the jump crew who were doing a parachute jump to honour the fallen.
“As an artist I wanted to do something to show their families that they will be remembered,” said Bolen.“Northern Tears symbolizes how I feel about Afghanistan.”
It would be four years later when her husband returned from his second tour overseas that Bolen came up with the concept for Northern Tears. On that tour Bolen’s husband was travelling with a convoy on Jan 15, 2006. when it was attacked by a suicide bomber. Diplomat Glyn Berry was killed and three Canadian soldiers were wounded.
“I don’t really know, other than the Inukshuk, how I came up with the idea,” explains Bolen.
She used a photo that was taken of the Inukshuk at sunset in Afghanistan as a reference point.
“The poppy is a symbol of remembrance," says Bolen. "The tears on the poppy are for tears shed by the families and friends for all soldiers killed. The black background is for the empty void that we feel for all fallen soldiers. Northern Tears now represents all the coalition soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.”
She has sent out approximately 21 prints to primary next of kin family members who have lost a military member in Afghanistan. “I usually give out a print after someone hears about my painting or sees it and requests a print,” says Bolen.
To cast your vote please go to www.artuponrequest.ca Votes will be taken until midnight on Sunday, February 20, 2011.
Bolen has also donated prints of Northern Tears to:
• Land Forces Western Area Training Centre (Wainwright)
• 1 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (Edmonton)
• The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Association (Wainwright/Edmonton)
• Canadian Forces Base Petawawa Museum,
• 1 Royal Canadian Regiment (Petawawa),
• 2 CER (Petawawa),
• Canadian Special Operations Regiment (Petawawa), and
• The Royal Canadian Dragoons (Petawawa)
*Dolly Bolen in front of Northern Tears image supplied by Bolen