Afghanistan: Drawings/Mixed Media
I feel as though I am blinded slightly by my own detachment during my tour and scarred with romantic ideas of that place and that time. Within the collection of images I carry like heavy sandbags, I look for the moments where I had seen past our cordon. I spent many hours watching my arcs, over the land that incorporates the daily routine of life around our forward operation bases and combat outposts. I watched the people living their lives as we all do. People who only want to grow their crops, smoke their hashish and ride their bicycles down the road. I remember watching motorcycles and trails of dust, vehicles overpopulated with people, animals and cargo. The Afghan landscape overwhelms my experience and haunts my memories with the green fields that almost pulsate against the dull, barren miles of outstretched sand with scattered mud compounds. The landscape has stayed with me more than the sound of distant gunfire or the roar of the engine from my armoured vehicle. I remember a calm landscape affected by our presence among the many other influences the country has endured over thousands of years.
The memories I carry from my tour in Afghanistan seem to be covered in dust, blurred and distorted. A new language lies within these images and is spoken through the many layers of gestural detail and old memories to provoke the tonality of time and place. These images are raw and they carry the emotion and weight that our soldiers carry on a daily basis through their deployments and carried through life.