Monday, August 21, 2006

Drawing on the Past

"Broken Promises"
mixed media on canvas 24"w x 30"h

Bath House Cultural Center is a local icon for interesting art events. Located near the botanical gardens, the center holds musical productions, plays and visual art shows. This marks it's 25th anniversary, and local artists were invited to choose a year and submit a piece of artwork representing that year. I chose 1991, and entered the painting above.

I doubt that it needs much explanation. It was one of my earliest paintings, done in 1997 about the death of my son in Desert Storm, January 1991. The text is a quote from President George Bush I, and reads "we will not risk the lives of American soldiers. Days later came the first casualties of the war, 12 Marines, including my young son.

The collage includes a pile of bullets, which I scanned and then printed with promises that we all make to each other, like "I would never hurt you", "I won't leave you", "I'll always take care of you", etc. There are almost 100 bullets with different "promises".

Then there's the photograph of the actual funeral, with the American flag a prominent feature.

I still like this painting, ten years after it was painted.


Anonymous said...

Robin, I am so sorry about your son. I know it is a number of years ago, but can feel how fresh it must still be.

I was just previewing your art blog on my own blog, and that's how I came across your posting so quickly.

Thank goodness we have our art to express the pains of life, as well as its joys.

Karen Jacobs said...

And it's still as powerful a painting today. Unfortunately, so many more can now identify with the emotions you poured into it. You are a remarkable woman... and your son knows that.

Joyce said...

A fitting remembrance of your son.

Walker said...

Thank you Lynne, Karen and Joyce. I appreciate your comments.

Martha Marshall said...

A powerful image that still resonates in more ways than one, Robin.

garyb50 said...

no words

Pat said...

That painting brought tears to my eyes. It should be on the cover of Life magazine, or some such publication. Sad to say, many would identify with it in so many ways.

emily dg said...

Such a painful truth...and exactly how we feel when someone we love dies for such a terrible thing.

I agree...very relevant piece and MANY people would benefit from this and more art expressing the so very wrongness of this & previous wars.

It angers me that more TV/Movies etc don't create works with more insight...artists like these have the power but don't speak.

Thank you for having the courage to speak. We all need to do more of this...

Anonymous said...

I was very touched by this painting, as I have a young
son of my own. I also have a dear friend whose son is in the marines, and so I can't even imagine the pain and anquish you have suffered. I hope you will submit this to Emily Duffys art blog- its called she
started it recently and updates it daily with submissions of art in response to war and social injustice.

TheTart said...


The Tart

; )