I met Michele Hansen six years ago, when I was writing for the paper and she was Executive Director at the Huron Women’s Shelter. The high school let me tag along with her into a classroom, where she educateded young people on the grim happenings at Ecole Polytechnique in Quebec on December 6, 1989. What unfolded was a real-time discussion of misogyny and feminism, villainy and equality, ugly history and hope-filled future with the very voices of tomorrow.
Michele’s nature was quiet and firm, unassuming and strong. She earned my respect and broadened my story that day. I’ve wanted to paint her ever since.
Today, I will. The iris is Michele’s favourite flower, and of course, the Huron Women’s Shelter is her chosen charity.
The iris conjures up all sorts of imagery and emotion for me, because Van Gogh. That creative genius, bringing movement to every flat surface he painted. That tortured man, piecing together landscapes glimpsed through asylum windows whenever he was allowed to paint.
I feel intimidated; I feel trite.
Michele won’t want me to overthink it: she’ll say something simple and deep, like “Let the feelings empower you.”
And I will.
Moulding paste, graphite & gesso
Matte clear shield with UV protection