My artwork tends to fall into a state of personal reflection lightly touching political and social ideals; using creativity to work through my life and break down any limitations I have of myself. Engaging in my past experiences I am able to express unstable knowledge, in particular to my service in the Military and of our presence in Afghanistan. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 for six months. This recurring theme is the foundation of my work, whether it is a direct portrayal or feelings that I have not been able to let go of. There is a common sense of struggle buried in the core of my subject matter and concepts behind the medias I choose. I would rather create a body of work that has meaning than to have it be aesthetically pleasing.
I have collected photographs of Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan from friends and from my own personal experience in order to create simple gestural drawings. I wanted to create an impression from the moment the photograph was captured; a distant memory. The memories I carry from my tour seem to be covered in dust, blurred and distorted. These gestural drawings provoke the tonality of the soldier’s perspective, separating the identity that has been created by the evening news and detaching the negativity that is connected to our presence over there. I want these images to be raw and carry the emotion and weight that our soldiers carry on a daily bases through their deployments as well as their return home. I have excluded the identities seized in the photograph by clouding their faces. I have purposefully chosen to do this in order for the audience to ask who are these soldiers, since their identity is only seen as a whole and never as the individual.
I am continuously working on this series and creating more and more drawings. My overall goal is to create a minimum of 50 drawings and collect stories from our troops who have been over and create a book full of memories. For that to happen I believe I have to have an agent to start and then a publisher who really truly stands behind our soldiers. I am not really sure how to make that happen. I believe it is an important time right now to share our knowledge and experiences from Afghanistan and not let them be forgotten. I also believe it is very important at this time to bring awareness to our Veteran’s in receiving help. Especially with all the cut backs our Government is making. It is important that our Veterans receive the means to find their path to recovery and/or reconnecting after returning home from deployment.
I was interviewed on these drawings and would love for you to read through…