Sechelt artist Jane Ford arrived in war torn Bosnia, part of the former Yugoslavia, at Easter this year. The border crossing guard glanced at her passport wearily without meeting her eyes, apparently tired of having yet more foreigners arrive.The traffic that day was busy. It seemed that 60 more bodies Ñ another memento of the war's ethnic cleansing Ñ had been unearthed in the Bosnian soil, and many Muslim visitors were arriving to lay their families to rest. Welcome to the Balkans.Ford's goal was to visit her son, who is a human rights officer for the O.S.C.E. (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), stationed in Prijedor, a city of 120,000, where he oversees a field office with the difficult task of reinstating local democratic government and resettling the population whose homes and religious buildings were destroyed in the war ten years ago. Jeff Ford and his wife Jenn Tyldsley are from North Vancouver; they met at Royal Roads Military College where Jenn conducted search and rescue for the Canadian Air Force while Jeff studied. Since arriving in Bosnia, both have studied the local languages, and Jenn now teaches English to Muslim women. They helped to give Ford a unique local resident's perspective.ÊThe artist is known for her landscapes, dramatic views up the inlet from her Sechelt home, or her colourful florals that make attractive greeting cards. But while in Bosnia, Ford's focus changed. She took many photos and couldn't help but see painting opportunities."I was inspired by the photos," she said later. "I've travelled before to London, Paris É and seen war-damaged ruins, but I have not been so moved before."On her return, she painted a scene in Prijedor featuring a peace rose. It became her son's favourite. Then the rest of the work tumbled out of her studio; five months of productivity that she has now gathered in a show on view Oct. 7 to 11 at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt."To see Bosnia today as I have," says Ford, "is to see a people who have lost so much in such a short time. This is the first time displaced people have legally been put back on their own land after a war. However, those illegally occupying homes must be placed also."This process inspired the title for the show, Bosnia Reparation, the act of trying to repair deep scars. It's been difficult for Ford to immerse herself in this work without becoming politically devoted to one side or another. She has found some comfort in simply trying to paint her honest reaction as a Canadian to a country torn by ethnic and religious war.Each painting makes use of symbols Ñ most are subtle Ñ and each painting features a flower in the foreground. After all, Bosnia is still agrarian and is noted for its pretty countryside. Her work captures the red brick farmhouses sturdily built in the landscapes of rolling hills, as well as the city scenes of damaged buildings among cobblestone streets. One painting seems to be a pastoral scene of chickens in a henhouse, until the viewer notices the barbed wire and the roosters outside the fence apparently standing guard. During the war, the people of Bosnia, women and children, were herded into just such sheds. Many died.The former Yugoslavia's diversity of religion is depicted in another work, Sunflower. "You'll notice that it's a spent sunflower," says Ford grimly. Behind the flower is a ruined building shelled during the war. A red X means: "Do not enter. Danger from explosives." In the background stand three towers: a minaret, a Catholic church tower and an Orthodox dome.One of the more obvious symbolic pieces depicts a healthy baby lying in a patch of forget-me-nots playing with the dainty flowers. An elaborate, wrought iron gate shows the way to a dusty road. But it is forbidden to walk on the road for fear of land mines.In addition to the Bosnian/flower illustrations in watercolour, Ford will also be showing at least six oil paintings and several of her local scenes. All are for sale. The show will be held upstairs at the Seaside Centre and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 7 to 11.