“trajectory of your bomb through my washing line”
December 3, 2015 § 4 Comments
As the debate about bombing Syria has been raging in England we’ve witnessed a decent and honest politician being vilified in many quarters for opposing this action. Polls have shown that the majority of citizens don’t want to bomb Syria and yet somehow this doesn’t count. We are being silenced and a horrendous cycle of violence perpetuated in our name. The dominant political narrative is that we MUST eradicate ISIL with our bombs when we all know that this is a virtual impossibility (how do you kill a movement based on the notion of jihad in a globally connected digital era) and that bombing will mean civilian casualties – a common euphemism for killing people.
Two days ago I blogged (sorry that the link is currently unavailable) about being impotent with rage at this Conservative government and that I was unable to paint. I had worked on an unresolved painting and made a hash of it. Yesterday I made this brief video having reached the understanding that after all painting was the only thing left to me to do in these dreadful circumstances. It felt important to keep going, make gestures and find a voice again.
Today I was able to make more inroads and complete the vision that had begun to come to me through the fog of bad painting days and rage. It’s the most explicit work I think I have ever created. Usually I like to leave my work more open but the circumstances are exceptional.
My first title was “ghosts” but I like the longer “trajectory of your bomb through my washing line”. There’s no ambiguity there and yet the work contains both ideas. You can see the previous work underneath – the ghosts are present viscerally.
Somehow through trusting in studio rituals and my eventual ability to work through the not knowing how or what to say I got there.
The vote in favour of bombing is devastating and I don’t sleep. My days are scrambled I’m sleep walking through. The ground beneath me feels unstable and I’m afraid.
Imagine then life in Syria. Imagine ordinary people, who must hang out their washing and wait for the bombs to fall.