Artist books on war and the soldier- Part 2
“The Combat Paper Project utilizes art making workshops to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences as well as broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture.
Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper”.
Vet Drew Cameron on the project: “The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration”.
And so the process of creating a finished artistic project becomes an act of deconstruction, catharsis, and transformation…
And the images dialogue with the viewer about the idea of the soldier vs the person who lies beneath the uniform….and perhaps, in a parallel fashion, the projection of a militaristic national identity vs a more honest look at ourselves.
More artist’s books from the Boston Athenaeum’s collection