One Hundred Years of Poppies, 1914 to 2014

Paintings by Robert Gould

Saturday June 7 – Sunday June 29

Opening reception:
Saturday June 7 from 6–9pm

Many are familiar with the opening lines of John McCrae’s Poem “In Flanders Fields”.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,

Since the poem was published in late 1915 the image of blood red poppies has become a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who have fought and fallen in war.

With this poem and the powerful image of poppies in the back of my mind, I started thinking about how to engage with the 100th anniversary of World War One. I developed this body of work that envisions the passage of time between the world of war in 1914 and the present.

Believing that the constancy of nature’s yearly life cycles provides us with a link to the past and the future, I chose to work with plant forms. For this exhibit I focused on three plant forms: the Lupine, the sugar beet, and the Poppy. Each of these plants is relevant to the battlefield environment of Europe during World War 1. I reduced the images of each plant form to simple gestural paint strokes and then repeated these strokes over and over one hundred times. Each gesture I envision as a snapshot of one growing season or year. The act of repeating these forms one after another, builds a parallel painted history, or a pictorial timeline. It a physical allusion to a natural yearly life cycle. Through this finite painted process one can experience a metaphor for the passing of 100 years.

—Robert Gould

View Rob’s bkbx artist page