As I write this I'm looking at three awards for leadership in arts & culture issued to me by Barry Devolin MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, MPP Lori Scott & MPP Jeff Leal Peterborough. Unfortunately, I'm also looking at a defamatory post on my websites Guestbook made by Lois Tuffin Editor In Chief of the My Kawartha paper. Lois felt the need to post a story about me from her paper that describes my unwarranted arrest, harassment, assault & extortion by the Peterborough OPP. I'm not sure why a journalist would do such a thing but I'm fairly sure that good journalism begins with & requires a thorough investigation. However I'm willing to overlook her lack of integrity & tell the true story of who I am & what I stand for, if my work doesn't show that clearly enough. I believe all people should be free from fear. That all have the right to reside in freedom on the earth we were born to. I have chosen to emancipate myself from anything that interferes with this philosophy. This includes refusing to engage with anyone who behaves in a threatening manner.
My partner & I were accosted by five OPP officers while peacefully driving home after spending money in a variety of small local businesses in Peterborough. We prefer to support family owned businesses & will not shop at mega stores. These 5 employees of the government were rude from the first encounter when we stopped at what appeared to be a RIDE checkpoint. We've since discovered that the RIDE program is simply a front for harassing citizens & collecting revenue rather than truly seeking out & stopping impaired drivers. I hope that MADD will be able to correct this illicit activity.
With great foresight, my partner, decided to video tape this encounter as she felt threatened by the officers behavior. What ensued was nothing short of police harassment & brutality. They threatened, coerced & outright lied to us simply because I refused to engage with this sort of behavior. We remained calm & polite while letting the officers know that we did not wish to continue interacting with them. Apparently this upset them enough to assault us both verbally & physically.
After numerous assaults on my person by several officers throughout the night, I was released on bail the next evening.
As I put together the evidence for my upcoming court date, I'm puzzled by several things. One is, how did obtaining pieces of paper become more important than solving or preventing crime? Does paying money for my drivers license, insurance or license plate registration show that I'm a good person or a criminal? Does this mean that we are paying for exemption from police harassment? It's evident to me that the bigger the criminal, the more likely they are to keep their paperwork in order so as not to attract attention. Neither my partner nor I committed any crime yet we were treated to the same drama seen on TV cop shows.
One of the other issues puzzling me is that several officers approached me to say that they loved my work & owned prints I had done. How does one appreciate the connectedness of all beings in a painting but cannot translate that into their own lives?
As I continue to ponder life's idiosyncrasies, I will continue with my work as I have for over 31 years & live peacefully in the woods with my family taking only what we need to continue in a good way.
If you wish to assist or show support for me & my family during this time, please use this contact link. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely & Respectfully
As a professional artist for the past 30 years, I have found that my personal style is consistently evolving. However, one message remains constant in my work. That is, my love and respect for the abundant beauty of nature, in all its perfection and intricacy. It continuously manifests its mysteries for all to find. My use of hidden images is a portrayal of nature's gifts exemplifying my conviction that we are all one, in both our connection to each other and to the magnificent earth we live on.
A portion of my more recent work may also depict some of the tenuous morality and contradictions of society. However, my belief that the overwhelming vitality and resilience of nature, the beauty and fervour of the human spirit infinitely over-ride the contrast of human conflict.
It is my artistic goal that I elicit a renewed understanding of the vast wonders continuously available to us all. It is my hope that the viewer is inspired towards introspection, interpreting and reacting to my work in a personal and unique manner, taking from it what he or she needs.
"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible."