Jamelie Hassan: Poppy Cover
Poppy Cover was installed during London Ontario Live Arts' LOLAfest, September 16-19, 2010.
Two thousand poppies were attached to a large camo net which then covered a Sherman Tank that sits permanently in Victoria Park, London. The WWII tank was dedicated to the park in 1950 by the 1st Hussars of the Canadian Forces, based in London. It was the only tank of the 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment to complete the entire European campaign from D-Day to the end of the war.
Jamelie Hassan's Poppy Cover restores this WWII history (the tank mostly provides an ad hoc climbing frame for children outside Remembrance Day services) and adds the current Afghan conflict to it. The poppies reference the WWI Flanders field poppies, the Canadian Legion poppy tradition for Remembrance Day and the poppy fields of Afghanistan which flood the world with opium and heroin.
As with all Hassan's work, objects have deep histories and consequently multiple readings. History is not simple, it is striated; monuments are not fixed and stable, they are ongoing and mutable.