Like Soldiers

Like Soldiers
255cm x 45cm
charcoal on butchers paper
(full resolution photographs here)

Nature destroys trees in its own way: trees that are too weak to withstand storms or trees that are diseased fall when their time comes. Mankind cuts trees down for other reasons and every day, trees are yielded to serve the machine of advancement.

Like soldiers, these trees have fallen for freedom. They are wounded, scorched, traumatised and broken. They lay in anonymous rows as far as the eye can see. These trees are the unmarked, un-named and unnoticed, mass graves on the rural landscape. Some become martyrs, fallen to create man's world and sacrificed on the altar of progress before ascension. Like soldiers, one day when there are none left, trees may inspire stories of great valour, respect and remembrance. For here too, is a deeply personal loss, an ancestral wounding passed down through generations, this tree, this one life leaves an absence in its wake and a question that wonders what used to be and what could have been.

Created on paper made from fallen trees, scratched out with charcoal from burned wood, "Like Soldiers" explores themes of grief and loss, progress, waste and the view that sees the world as a resource to be exploited for personal gain with little thought to consequence.



"a natural ability with charcoal... nice transition into the sepia tone, like an old photograph (a totally accidental occurrence in the picture!)... using a horizontal narrative as traditional Asian artworks o, move through the image as it unrolls, eyes move from left to right... moments of pause, great sense of light embellished... like a panorama photograph... quite ironic given butchers paper is made out of trees... it will fade quickly and fall apart. Best to use Canson's 180 gsm paper can get in a roll..."

For me in the future...

  1. explore creating more in panorama and larger scale... experiment with the temporal aspects of the visual narrative unfolding over space rather than all at once
  2. explore transitioning from one medium to another (charcoal - sepia - pencil - back to charcoal for example)...
  3. buy a roll of better quality paper for future projects