WW1 Series

My 2021 installation entitled “Shell Shock” incorporates a large series of WWI metal medical splints designed to remove wounded soldiers off the battle fields. Through the application of wax and pigments, I fabricated bruises, scrapes, infections on these splints – reminders of the violence and effects of war on the human body. This collection of sculptures culminated into a LED-lit installation that cast long 30-ft wall shadows. The enlarged shadows reference the experiences that haunted many soldiers, as well as the wartime population in general.
Other sculptures address the often invisible, feminized labour of care by women during war. These war efforts ranged from collecting materials for wound treatments, to adapting textiles and materials within the home into dressings that were vital to the war effort.
When thousands of wounded soldiers exhausted the material for bandages and cotton ran out, there were frantic attempts to find alternate sterile and effective materials to treat injuries. Sphagnum bog moss was readily available and has remarkable sponge-like qualities and antiseptic properties. Besides WWI “moss drives” that would address the dressings shortages, there were also “bandage rolling” gatherings where women would get together to cut, roll, and sow. Women sacrificed fabrics around the household such as curtains and lace tablecloths, making them into healing compresses and dressings. My “Moss Bandage” series uses fresh and dried moss, vintage linens, laces and trunks.