Served in Al-Asad, Iraq U.S. Marine Corps 2004-2005
From the artist:
I'm not really an artist. I'm a busybody in need of a therapist who likes crayons, trash, politics, and story telling. If I were an artist my mediums would include: writing, reclamation art, combat paper, photography, and et cetera. Either way, thanks for listening.
About the artwork:
Being at the Ithaca Veteran's Sanctuary for the NE Regional Retreat was amazing. It was a surprisingly comforting space and the residents were super welcoming. As an artist I immediately gravitated toward the Combat Paper studio. While breaking down our uniforms, we talked music, politics, FTA, love, and art.
After seeing the large screen I had an overwhelming desire to put my body into the paper. I wanted to translate a recurring nightmare I have. No one in Combat Paper history had put themselves into the paper in such a fashion. What I loved most is that no one ever said it wasn't possible! We immediately set out to figure out how. It seems "adapt and overcome" is applicable to healing. After a few logistical challenges, we figured out how to make it happen. I curled up in the screen, warmly bathed in the uniforms of nameless brethren, while my friends poured my own around me.
In a brief moment of quiet I felt the peace of the space and the weight of my memories fall into the paper along with my own tears. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. The ability to physically touch your nightmares, to shape them into your own making, is a gift I will forever appreciate.
Thoughts on "Radical Vulnerability:" Silence is hurting veterans. If healing is to come for our generation of vets we have to expose our truths. If change is to come for the community, we must create a vision for what is possible. We must tell our stories by any mediums necessary.