The content of the body of this work addresses the irreversible effects of war on an environment and its inhabitants. It ruminates not only the physical changes that occur to both the locale and its people, but also the psychological trauma and relational tensions left behind in its wake , for all involved in the conflict. This includes soldiers on either side of the engagement as well as civilians who become casualties of its hostility. It also brings into question the psyche of future generations who are watching and learning from these violent acts. Furthermore, it evokes the notion of our detachment from the grim reality of combat’s brutality given that we are so far removed from any immediate confrontation.
These collages depict incidents of war, but are more pertinent to its after effects and the misconception that once a war is over, all conflict is resolved and life resumes normally. In this series entitled Indelible Cicatrix, I have used images of war taken from the internet and removed the color, making them black and white. I then printed them and cut out the weaponry, soldiers and destruction from their surroundings. With their counterparts removed, I placed the war scenes on top of images of serene landscapes and close up images of beautiful sunsets, towns, fields, flowers etc. I proceeded to paint over certain parts of the images, abstracting them and occasionally blocking out entire sections. Some of the collages portray the opposite and the subjects of the war imagery are instead placed in serene landscapes.
Although most of the imagery used in my collages are from the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, their message is not meant to be tied strictly to these engagements. They are meant to encompass all past, future and present conflicts, but speak specifically to the present, a time where we are stuck in the purgatory of a war-torn world, where one discord seems to flow into the next. They are meant to be a cynical reminder, to make us aware of our actions and enlighten us to the irreversible reality of our current situation.