The Helmet Project
After being inspired by the works of artists Pamela Lawron and Al Dowayan, I decided to create a life-sized helmet - using a bowl mold - that would serve as a representation of various themes. One such theme was the white feather, a symbol of cowardice during World War II in England, which was given to those who didn't fight in the war. Another theme was the use of birdseed to highlight the social disparity between the wealthy and the impoverished, with the latter often suffering from hunger and being left with no choice but to go to war. The process of making the clay helmet was a novel and slightly challenging experience for me. The creative process is often unpredictable, and as artistic ideas originate from the spontaneous and unpredictable nature of the creative mind, it can be challenging to anticipate when and how an idea will surface. A crucial aspect of the creative process is finding the right inspiration, which can be difficult to come by. Additionally, a lack of technical skills can result in poorly executed ideas. And of course, having due dates and deadlines doesn't help either. It took some time to grasp the techniques involved in working with clay and the glazing process and to finalize each project.
Genocides have far-reaching and devastating consequences that affect not only the immediate victims but also future generations. One of the most heartbreaking consequences of genocide is the loss of unborn children. This happens because genocides often target specific groups, and one of the ways to achieve the intended result is to deliberately kill women of childbearing age. This results in the loss of countless potential lives, and future generations are deprived of their existence. This loss is not only a numerical one but also a moral tragedy, as it represents the destruction of an entire people's future. In this particular installation, eggs were used to symbolize the children who were never born due to the Nazi killing of Jews. The idea of lost potential was portrayed through negative/inverted images, which could resemble heat and fire, representing the burning of the hopes and dreams of mothers and their unborn children alike.
In the context of military service, soldiers who are killed in action or who die as a result of injuries sustained in combat may be eligible for various forms of compensation, such as death gratuity payments, survivor benefits, or life insurance payouts. These payments are typically made to the soldier's next of kin, such as their spouse, children, or parents, rather than directly to the soldier. Since the theme of this project was the pigeon heroes of war, seeds were meant to represent currency.
During World War I, the white feather was a symbol of cowardice in England. It was commonly given to men who were not in uniform, particularly those who were of military age but were not serving in the armed forces. The white feather was seen as a way to shame these men into enlisting. The white feather campaign was largely driven by women's organizations such as the Order of the White Feather, founded in August 1914 by Admiral Charles Fitzgerald and Mary Augusta Ward. These organizations distributed white feathers to men who were not in uniform, and encouraged women to give them to men they encountered on the street or in public places. The campaign was controversial and faced criticism from some quarters. Many men who were not in uniform were exempt from military service due to medical or other reasons, and the campaign ignored this fact. Additionally, some men who were in uniform but on leave or out of uniform for other reasons were also targeted, leading to instances of mistaken identity. Despite these criticisms, the white feather campaign continued throughout the war, and the symbol became synonymous with the pressure placed on men to enlist in the armed forces. Today, the white feather is often used as a symbol of pacifism and anti-war sentiment, and is also used as a symbol of remembrance for those who have been affected by war.