To Remember is to Strive for Peace
Inspired by the existing stories at the air raid shelter of women and their sacrifice and service, as well as the men who fought on the front line, Ella's design seeks to invite reflection and contemplation. It does not diminish the sacrifice that was made, but looks to show the senselessness of war, the personal sacrifice and the ongoing legacy that war leaves for generations; not wanting to glorify war, nor make light of it. The main image of the woman represents multiple themes - those who served, but also those who were left behind longing for loved ones to come home. She is the mother, the daughter, the wife, the soldier, the nurse, the volunteer at the air raid shelter, the communications expert, the farmer.
'She wears a poppy in her hair as a sign of remembrance' comes from the SA Library Digital collection, ARP diaries of Lucy Lockett Ayers, and depicts the sacrifice and struggle that must have been felt by so many (both men and women) who served. The quote is her reaction to being asked to serve as an ARP (Air Raid Precautions) member. 'Every inclination I have is against this idea, but my conscience prompts me and has done for some time, to make some kind of effort towards helping to win the war and although I can't think of anything I should hate less, neither can I think of anything I would rather do.'
The quote 'to remember is to strive for peace' is aimed at asking the viewer to reflect on the past but also look to the future.
At the time WW2 was seen to be the war to end all wars, but we now know that not to be true. The poppies show both white and red elements; the white poppy signifying the pacifist, the red remembrance.
About the artist
Ella Simpson, of Ink and Ruby Studios, is a local Adelaide based mural artist who grew up on Kangaroo Island. Her recent work is inspired by nature and features botanical illustrations and earthy ochre tones. Ella's street art is exhibited in the public and private realm throughout the greater Adelaide area.
Prospect SA 5082, Australia