The sunflower, a favourite subject of painters, is also a favourite plant in many gardens.
As a symbol it represents optimism, longevity, and peace. It is the national flower of Ukraine.
The symbolism of the sunflower takes us to a deeper level since Russia invaded Ukraine.
It has become an emblem uniting the world against unprovoked Russian aggression.
All flowers face the sky, seeking their daily dose of daylight, but the sunflower does it best, loyally following the sun’s path across the sky on a daily basis, not unlike one of Apollo’s mythical & loyal lovers.
Apollo, known by many as the sun god of ancient Greece & Rome, is also the god who wards off evil. How fitting too, that he is also a patron and protector of refugees.
Right now, artists around the world are sharing their sunflower art. That’s my painting contribution above.
Artists like me are also using the hashtag #sunflowersforukraine & #IStandWithUkraine, in an effort to offer a sense of solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are far away, from me at least, where I sit here in Canada, watching events unfolding, with horror in my heart.
Essentially, when one feels helpless to act, but feels strongly enough about the travesty Russia is imposing on Ukraine, artists of any genre can in some small way, take a stand against a greedy dictator like Vladimir Putin and his land-grabbing, senseless war.
So, let the sunflower continue to shine a harsh light on Russia, or any country & ruler who thinks its okay to invade a neighbour without provocation, or act aggressively towards another for the sake of personal gain and ego gratification.
A bully is a bully is a bully.
Let the sunflower be a beacon of light for the Ukrainian people, where darkness turns to the light, just as a sunflower follows the sun.
In closing, to the woman who stood up to Russian soldiers by putting sunflower seeds in their pockets, you are my hero. 🙂