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From Baghdad to Peace Country

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In 1999, a life-altering journey to Baghdad changed the focus of Canadian artist Deryk Houston's work. His canvas would be the Earth. His inspiration would be peace.

Unable to remain an outside observer of the crisis in Iraq, Deryk travelled to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people. Deprived of basic medicine, adequate food and clean water, UNICEF has estimated that a half-million children under the age of five have died as a result of war and the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations in 1991.

Compelled to speak out, the artist embarked upon a unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq. Using rocks, gravel and hay, Deryk began to create large-scale art installations in the image of a mother and child against diverse landscapes around the world. With footage from Deryk's travels to Baghdad and Scotland, this documentary follows the artist as he works with his young son Sam to compose the largest and most challenging of his works: a permanent mother-and-child sanctuary located in the Peace River country of northeastern British Columbia.

2003, 28 min 32 s

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