On a planet inhabited by 7 billion people, it is easy to overlook the layers of intense personal emotion which overlay the events reported in the news, and how easily they are lost. With Forgotten, I used this idea of layering to illustrate the relationship between personal and public experience, superimposing a young boy’s face over the explosion behind. Despite the immediacy and shock of the moment, however, the painting drips away across a blank canvas; mere graffiti on the pages of history.
GCSE ART MOCK FINAL
(Written shortly afterward)
Ok so first off I’m going to tell you a bit about the painting itself. Technically this isn’t a piece that I would have made ENTIRELY of my own volition, though planning and painting it turned out to be a lot of fun. Forgotten is a painting I did for my IGCSE art mock examinations, and was the outcome for my coursework topic “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword”. (The two might not seem obviously related, but I’ll explain everything in my sketchbook videos).
Forgotten is a tribute to those victims of war whose lives are torn apart, yet whose voices go unheard, whose faces go unphotographed; the thousands who suffer anonymously every day. To quickly draw an analogy to the original topic – their stories, carved and cratered by the destructive power of the sword, never have the chance to be healed or reconstructed by the constructive powers of the pen. There cannot be war without victims. Their stories overlay and are woven into the tapestry of conflict, of war, of the explosions and awful acts of terror that define it.
The drips were referenced from pictures of graffiti, again, again an integral part of modern war (the attempts of the pen to understand the sword’s chaos, and a bid by the anonymous victims to reclaim their lives by protesting the war which tore them apart).
The blank canvas beneath is just that – blank, open to interpretation. It could be the empty pages in memoirs that were never written, the empty futures of the victims, yawning like caverns beneath the immediate shock of war. Or perhaps, a futuristic city, a commentary on how war has shaped our civilisation, and the way we will never be able to wipe away the blood that smears the foundations of our skyscrapers. The inherently bloodthirsty nature of humanity. Your call.