So our topic for the January challenge is “war”. No limits–could be conflict on a national level such as the current Israeli/Gaza issue, internal conflict such as that between person and role (self and wife/mother), a battle such as the battle against cancer–anything viewed, I guess, as one force opposing another. That’s really what war is on the simplest level–two or more forces in opposition that do not compromise and seek to gain leverage over the other(s).
My challenge especially is going to be how to approach this and make a piece that isn’t troubling for me to create and that is still something I wouldn’t mind having in my house (along lines of last post about what my personal criteria are for my artwork). And I do think that it would be easy to create a piece on war that is disturbing to look at and hard to make. Perhaps the real challenge is finding a way to do a piece on war that is not personally difficult to create and one that is not something the viewer wishes to turn away from upon seeing it.
Not sure yet on which level I wish to approach this. H., who came up with the topic, said she did so because of what is going on in the Isreali/Palestinian conflict at the moment. I thought of something on WWI, with the poppies and headstones of family members who fought in WWI, but as far as I know I have none and Dale has only one, and that just feels a bit pretentious or saccharine anyway. This afternoon I remembered that last summer I’d had thoughts of doing something to illustrate that continual struggle between self and wife/mother roles, so maybe I’ll go back and look at that post if I can find it. The personal war–not to illustrate a resolution, just to acknowledge and give voice to the conflict itself.
I am finding it hard to think about this in a way that doesn’t feel fake or self-important. Perhaps this might be a good month to do a couple of different pieces for the challenge to see how each comes out and what I think about them. I don’t even know how I want to do anything yet. I could maybe use the ration book I got from Duxford last summer–do heat transfer and put multiple copies on a background . . . it just seems that what comes to mind at the moment is “clever” but not honest somehow. Will keep thinking about it and trusting that I will get through to the honesty.