Perfecting a new art when sirens calling, she holding hands with dirty army men, she jumping into protection with helmet and mask on, but she never painted this scene for posterity.
Taking cover from the ‘subject’ is a Woman as War Artist, out of her foxholes and into the Mess, the She-Painter, and the She-Photographer.
Colour-up fast and click fast shutter, War takes time away from Art, so getting it right here is getting it right here whenever the first time is.
Mortars and erasers, removing her work, and ‘Smithereens!’ wasn’t her title.
She lost a portfolio when her canvas as ‘Home’ became a canvas of collateral casualties.
And back then she stood up, looked over the edge, deaf in the ears; still, she got a good photo of that Still Life massacre, and it’s funny how things turn out in Art, now a featured gallery hang, collecting onlookers, comments, and meaning.
That photograph is hers; hers too is what happened there, happened just before, during, and straight after, the weeks and months later, ‘Blood, Guts and Repatriation’ a good title.
Heads, arms, legs, hands, fingers, feet, toes, balls, scalps, and short haircuts, all in melted uniforms, blown off and out of her canvas.
She lost ‘product’ from the ends of her arms, the work of her mind, her hands, from her still-on fingers, her oil work and water work up in flames, it wasn’t coming back, dead art made.
Her gallery was packed and questions were mounting, her mountings were black and white.
This Woman, this ‘War Artist’, looked again at what was looked at, and heard them again – booms, blasts, fires, screams, tears, flags, and ‘Last Post’ bugles; Looking was getting her blasts in her face.
Viewing at the ‘Viewing’, a War Artist audience looked, heard what they wanted to hear in a Collection, but it wasn’t the truth.
The Woman as War Artist truth – she didn’t create it, but she went to see it, and she kept seeing it over and over, in night and in day.
A Woman as War Artist will never be the same again.
SauceBox on Ice pauljohnwelsh on Ice SauceBox on Ice Pablo Cuzco on A zoology pauljohnwelsh on WWI
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