But behind the scenes, I’ve been working on this project about the Irish Civil War. I’ve hardly told anyone about it but it’s been my main preoccupation in the studio since Christmas.
I was reading “Between Two Hells” by Diarmaid Ferriter and I was struck by one comment in which he stated that it was “a small scale affair” – in that only about 1400 people were killed (as compared to 36,000 deaths in the Finnish Civil War around the same time).
Well, maybe it was small but to me, 1,400 people dead meant that 1,400 families were bereaved and many, many more were traumatised. I decided to make 1,400 drawings to commemorate the dead and, in some way, to acknowledge the trauma.
And yes, it was trauma – but it was repressed, shoved under the carpet from the beginning. Nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to deal with it. It was just too horrible.
And I know that there are other horrible, brutal wars going on, around the world right now. Geopolitics. But when it comes down to it, it’s some mother’s son, it’s somebody’s brother or sister, it’s somebody’s neighbour who is killed.
I don’t know what to say. I just continue to do the drawings. It’s a daily ritual that seems right. 1400 charcoal drawings – is it some form of atonement, perhaps?
I don’t know. Who knows what part we would have played, had we been there? Who knows what we might have done?
Your comments and input are always welcome.