The Four Freedoms (2002) - Oil, acrylic paint, bitumen and ash on canvas
Quadriptych: Single panel size 1200x750.
This work is part of a series of artworks produced shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11) and the invasion of Afghanistan, a month later, by a coalition of forces led by the United States (US). The 'terrorist' attacks on 9/11 became a media sequel that was watched live on television screens by millions of people around the world. Images of the events became and remain omnipresent, constantly and sequentially repeated throughout the following hours, days, weeks, months and years, seemingly trapped in a time warp and unable to escape. The public were also trapped, riveted to sofas and chairs in their homes and offices, they could not believe their eyes, nor comprehend what was happening. One witness to the event claimed, 'it was so surreal, it was just like a disaster movie'.
The title of the work is taken from President Roosevelt’s State of the Union address 1941 that incorporated the following four objectives: Freedom of speech - Freedom of worship - Freedom from want - Freedom from fear.
The style of the painting is loosely based on abstract expressionism and is mimetic in style and metaphor. This subliminally references the estimated over 100 million US dollars of art objects destroyed when the towers collapsed. Panel three displays a copy of the US flag with a hole burnt in the canvas. This refers to the burning of national flags as a symbolic attack, and to the slippage of security that allowed the attacks to take place in the twin hearts of the US homeland.
Loss of Innocents (photo shown below) is a two-part work, a digital print mounted on board and a five-part painting on board. The title refers to the loss of innocent lives in the coalition bombing of Afghanistan 2001, and the loss of innocence of a US society that once asked, ‘Why do they (‘Muslims’ - ’Terrorists’) hate us so much?’ The digital image, representing a gravestone, shows part of the casualty list of civilians injured or killed as a result of the bombing.
Loss of Innocents (2002) - Digital print, acrylic, ash and detritus on board.
Single panel size: 1 x 750x500 and 5 x 500x750mm.