I cut myself while working in the garden the other day. I mean, I nearly chopped my index finger off. Stupid. I was using my new secateurs, cutting up sticks to put in the brown bin…
I’m ok now but, let me tell you, it gave me a shock. Blood everywhere.
But it got me thinking. If I was in shock after a relatively tiny incident like that, how much more traumatised are those unfortunate soldiers (and civilians) who are caught up in the war in Ukraine.
And still, there are people calling for more weapons to be sent. Armchair generals. I don’t agree with them at all. A ceasefire is what’s needed – and peace negotiations. Actually, I said this five months ago – but still, the shells rain down. How many more lives have been lost since then? How many lives ruined on both sides?
It’s November, it’s the month of the dead, and I have been drawing these black faces for a long time now. I am planning to create 1400 drawings in all. My project is about the Irish Civil War but the drawings could refer to any war. They are not portraits, not based on actual people who were killed during the war. Each piece is an attempt to represent a soul, someone with dreams and ambitions, someone whose life was cut short.
Perhaps it’s hard to imagine nowadays but only a hundred years ago, here in Ireland, about 1400 people were killed in the Civil War (and many, many more were traumatised). I believe that it is important to remember this heart-rending ‘war between friends’ – and to remind ourselves that peace should never be taken for granted. That’s my reason for drawing the 1400 faces.