The Fallen: Then and Now

The work here represents a pilot for larger body of work funding allowing, if you feel you can help in any way don’t hesitate to get in touch.

This work explores remembrance and raises questions about how we commemorate our soldiers killed during the war in Afghanistan.

Traditional remembrance honours the hero soldier in a very ceremonial and public way; whilst here the act of remembering is presented from the viewpoint of the bereaved family and loved ones.

I believe, sincerely, that we ought to be encouraged to listen to the experiences of those closest to the fallen soldiers, especially when there is a desire to be heard. Although incredibly raw and emotional, it is the most authentic and ultimately, the most respectful way of remembering.

In Then and Now, the recreation of a treasured family photograph illustrating the absence of that loved one creates a visual jolt that demands attention. Interviews communicate the experience of these families during this most traumatic period.

The work here seeks to explore memory in relation to conflict. The individual parts of this project may echo familiar paths in photography, using found photography and so forth, but in this context and combination it represents a compelling new development that may inform our national traditions of remembrance and archive and should be explored further.

When remembrance services started in 1919 the intention was to remember so that the horrors of the First World War would never be forgotten (or repeated!). Somehow in the last hundred years the purpose of remembrance seems to have drifted from this original role. The tone set in this work is perhaps more reminiscent of its origin a hundred years ago than is demonstrated nationally today and is all the more significant because of this.

As most troops are scheduled for withdrawal by the end of 2014, now is the time to count the cost of the Afghan war. Arguments will no doubt rage about the success, monetary cost, and relevance of this conflict. This work is not intended deal with strategic issues; rather, it attempts to show us the personal impact of losing our soldiers in combat, and asks the question: when the newspapers and cameras have left the doorsteps, how do people carry on?

It is envisaged the exhibition will comprise a series of 20 diptych photographic images, supplemented by interviews and quotes, with the potential for film and audio installations.

In the digital age, it is important to make the point that the appropriate context for this work is the gallery or exhibition space – allowing for contemplative consideration of the issues and personal stories.

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