From Sea To Sea:
From Sea to Sea was a series created to express my life living as an RCMP member's wife and what I saw through this experience.
It was proudly supported and displayed at the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2017.
These images are now created by request until the limited edition number is reached; for more information please contact me directly.
The Recruit, illustrates the beginnings within a new career. Where we look to the older members for guidance and support, as we begin our new adventure towards a greener path.
With any new career we are filled with excitement and awe at the path we are starting on. Whether it is literal or symbolic the new recruit will walk on a different surface, than those that have been there before them. This difference in path is illustrated with the green earth that the younger bison is walking on. The older bison is no longer on the green path, as it has begun to move off of the wonder and on to experience. This is also rooted in tradition with the new recruits at the training academy. The recruit is only permitted to walk on the
sidewalks of the academy after they have attained a certain level of marching experience, that is put to the test at the drill hall. Once they leave the academy the recruit will work under the guidance and support of a senior member through their field training, until they are ready to “step off” on their own. The two bison help to tell this story by the older bison standing behind the younger one, as if to say, I have your back.With every new beginning we will have times where we are unsure of ourselves. If we could only look ahead of path we have begun, we might see that our shadows will cast different than we expected them to. This is where we are going and what we will be, it will be our success. To the rest of society, we will see the member for what they stand for; for how they handle themselves in public; for how they create a safer place for us.
Morning Shift highlights the cold and lonely shifts that some members face each day. Those mornings where they do not want to get out of bed to face the cold but do so anyways, as there are others that are dependant upon them.
This piece is one that means so much to my life within the RCMP. My husband would work many shifts by himself, as it was a very small detachment in rural Alberta. After some of the scheduled shifts, the members would also have to stay on call through the night. It was on these long shifts that our house would have phone calls at all hours in the night, waking my husband up, to go to back to work.
It is engrained into my memory of watching him sit on the edge of our bed to try and wake himself up, so he could gather all the information that he might need from telecoms, to prepare himself for what he was about to walk into. Then to only have minutes to get to the emergent situation to help those that were in need, and seem as if he was not in a
dead sleep just moments before.I remember feeling guilty watching him go to work with only a short few hours of sleep, as I would roll over and sleep through the night. This piece reminds me of my husband standing there at the beginning of a shift with the dead of night around him, sometimes alone, fighting off the bitter cold to face the work shift ahead of him. Although my husband wanted nothing more than to sleep through the night like everyone else, he got up with no complaints as this is what he chose to do. He chose to help those in need. He chose to be an RCMP member.
Troop, is to show the camaraderie of having those around you with the same beliefs, the same path of truth and justice. To know that there are always others who can help you along the way, and those that will always have your back.
This piece is to show the enjoyment one can have working with others that have the same beliefs of maintaining the right. Being able to get to calls and present yourself to the public, but to do it with pride, professionalism and composure. Following each others movements to keep the group safe, but at the same time thinking independently to make the right decisions that need to be made.
When I took the reference photo for this piece, I first saw this group of bison running through a heavily wooded path, at Elk Island National Park in Alberta. I waited for this group of male bison to emerge, from the woods that they had disappeared into. Then suddenly they came charging over the ridge. The male bison in the front was the leader of the group, as when ever he stopped the other two would follow his lead. If he was unsure they were doubly unsure.
The enormous strength and size that these animals have is hard to describe; but being in their presence was very humbling. The leader kept his eye on me as I crouched down
behind a deer fence to take my photos of him. What struck me most about him was his eyes. He was cautious of me, but yet he reminded me of my dog at home, as there was a sense of silent gentleness and strength within his gaze. As long as I did not move to fast and allowed him the distance he needed to feel safe; then I was not in harms way. He was gracious enough for me to take photos of him for about ten minutes, before he ran off with his troop following his lead.
On Patrol, stands for all those that will continually look out for others. Whether it is their child, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbour or even a stranger that is in need of assistance. It is for all those that put their needs above others, in order to help; this is what an RCMP officer will encounter on any given day.
It is truly hard to say where all the inspiration came from for this piece. This is the one image that I did not personally take in this series but came from my father, John Rogers. I was extremely busy with my boys one weekend. So my father, unknown to me, went out to Elk Island National Park to take some more reference
photos for me to help me with my series. This piece was based off the one image that struck something within me. I could tell aesthetically that I liked how the bison looked, his searching eyes, the colours I could see, but the story was not there. I kept looking at this bison for just over a week before I figured it all out - he was on patrol.Being on patrol is something that we take for granted. In my case, for gaining reference photos; it was my father going out of his way, giving up his day to serve and help me. Changing his day to help me out - to look out for me because he cares about me.In the police world, people may take this action for granted. That police officer, has left their families for the day or night to look out for the rest of us. They are the ones that will put themselves in harms way to keep us safe and to make sure that we arrive at home, to work, to school or where ever we are going safely. These members, these police officers, are there to look out for us; to keep our world as safe as much as they can within their shift, while on patrol.
On Parade, is to represent the members life when they are there standing together in unity, in celebration. Where they get to represent the RCMP by being one of Canada’s national figures. They do this to show respect to all those that have been there before, to show the strength we have as a nation, to help celebrate our freedom in this country.
I have been to Sweden and Spain with my husband seeing him play hockey in the world police and fire games, as a RCMP member. Our team would pack their red serges for the opening ceremony parades. On their way to the opening ceremonies it was amazing to see how the people would stop and look at our members in red. The streets would be busy and then the parade of mounties would be heading to the opening ceremonies. First it would be one person that would notice them, then the street would be full of people who would all turn and stare. People would then come running out to the street from the homes and shops and all you would hear from the crowd “Canada”. Soon after that cameras were out and people would be taking photos of our loved ones; Canada’s Mounties, a symbol of our great country.One particular memory was watching our team members marching into the opening ceremonies in Barcelona, Spain. The stadium was filled with tens of thousands of spectators and the crowd erupted in a deafening roar when the Canadian athletes marched in led by the RCMP in red serge. In these types of events both in Canada and abroad, I have never been more proud to be Canadian or apart of this group.Being on parade is also about being part of something bigger than oneself. Being part of a team, working and moving in unison. It’s about precision, strength, camaraderie, team work, and this exemplifies the RCMP.
Remembrance, is about all those people, memories, events that have come and gone. To everything that has a past and we cannot change, whether it is someone who has gone before us or an event that we
were witness to - good times and bad. It is about living in the moment
and honouring our past. This was actually the second piece that I had completed in this series. It is completed on birch wood as this wood symbolizes new beginnings and cleansing of past. It is framed in red oak as this wood is said to be the symbol of strength, courage and integrity. This is the meaning that I wanted this piece to help convey. The design of the frame is to symbolize a circle - no beginnings or ends. As the life of the protector will never truly end. They have always been there, and there will always be another to stand up for what is right; when the older generation moves on.I looked at this piece to help create closure for all the experiences that my husband and myself have had with his service in the RCMP. The good, the bad, the indifferent, the everything. By working on this piece I realized that I wanted this series to focus on the beauty and wonderful things within the RCMP.The main focus of this piece is to be the bison skull, to help symbolize the past; while the other bison are there in background to say their good byes. They came to remember all that they have had to say good-bye to, those that have transferred away, those that retired, or to those that left us much too soon. The dimensions of this piece were purposely created to be 10 x 33. The emergent call, represents the most difficult of events to remember and to say goodbye to.I feel blessed that I lived this life for 15 years. I feel blessed that I can say my husband was one of the good guys. I feel grateful for those that are still there to protect the rest of us. It was not until my husband retired that we realized that our boys saw him as a hero. They questioned why he no longer wanted to be a hero, one of the good guys. Our response was that he was still our hero, just in a different way - Remembrance.
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All information and images are ©CarleenRossArtwork, 2022