Artist distraught over bizarre theft
Police seeking information on three thefts at the Craft Council on Duckworth Street
An artist is upset that a piece of her artwork was stolen during a theft at the Craft Council's headquarters on Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's.
A large, hand-woven piece of textile art by Kelly Bruton was among items that were stolen from the building in February. Bruton said the piece took her years to create, and it holds high sentimental value to her.
"The piece is all hand-stitched, so it took me probably about two or three years to finish the piece, because every stitch is put in by hand," she said.
Bruton said the piece is part of a larger collection she's making, which is inspired by friends she lost to complications from HIV and AIDS.
"When I was living in Botswana back in the '90s, four out of five pregnant women who were going to hospitals were HIV positive," Bruton said.
"When I went back in 2005, then I looked to find my friends, like you would, back in schools, back in communities, and I couldn't find them living. I did find them, unfortunately, in cemeteries."
Bruton said the title of the piece, Sometimes I Get the Botswana Blues, is reflective of her feelings about losing her friends.
"I think that every small stitch that I put in that piece, to me, is representative of, I hate to say, but a tear," Bruton said.
"They're all many tears that I have cried about losing friends, and even just the lack of political will in our own country to work with people with this epidemic."
According to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, three thefts occurred at the building — which houses a shop, a gallery and a pottery studio — between Feb. 16 and Feb. 23.
Several pieces of jewelry were also stolen.
The RNC said the works together are valued at more than $10,000.
The Constabulary wants anyone with information to contact the police directly, or to call the anonymous Crime Stoppers service at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
In a statement, the RNC reminded the public that possessing stolen property is also an offence under the Criminal Code.