HOPE and SURVIVAL
THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION
December 6, 2017, marked 100 years since the Halifax Explosion.
Laurie created a monumental community art project, Hope and Survival,
to commemorate the event and honour those killed and injured.
Hope and Survival honors the lives lost, lives instantly and dramatically changed, and the heroic efforts made to assist and restore hope. It acknowledges a legacy of survival that continues to this day.
The work was created by Laurie Swim in her studio in Lunenburg from cloth dyed with blue/black pigment powder and snow. The dark blue represents the colour of the survivors’ scars, caused by the oily black residue that rained down upon them. The snow is symbolic of the horrific storm that followed, complicating rescue efforts. The resulting cloth is imbued with images influenced by survivor stories and photographs collected by Laurie over 15 years. The exhibit brings the experience of The Halifax Explosion to new generations.
Laurie created a Scroll of Remembrance memorializing the names and ages of the 1,946 victims of the explosion to accompany the centrepiece. To recognize those blinded and visually impaired by the blast, the names were translated into Braille and beaded by a team of 400 volunteers throughout Nova Scotia.
A video of the entire creative process, as well as photographs and footage taken in the aftermath of the explosion, accompany the art on display. The result is a moving tribute to this historical event told in a unique way for all Canadians to see.
Together the impressive centrepiece and beaded Scroll of Remembrance that make up the Hope and Survival memorial quilt were on display for the 100th anniversary of the explosion at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The exhibit is now touring the province of Nova Scotia.
New book by Laurie Swim
Hope and Survival: A Story of the Halifax Explosion
Written and illustrated by Laurie, this children's book is an account of the explosion through the eyes of a young girl. A beautifully created 48-page picture book, it is available through the "Shop Laurie" tab as well as good bookstores across Nova Scotia. The book features Laurie's iconic quilt art and has received rave reviews. It was purchased by the Department of Early Childhood Education for dissemination to schools across the province. Click below to purchase.