January 8, 2015
I am posting the drawing below to register my horror at the murders and consequent mutilation of the French press in Paris yesterday.
The pencil drawing ‘Concision’ was inspired by Goya’s ‘Disasters of War’. The war in sharp focus today is the right to freedom of speech. I may or may not agree with all that is published in ‘Charlie Hebdo’ or ‘Private Eye’ magazines, but however outrageous the satire, it should be understood as just that. The ideas and cartoons are extreme stereotypes of the political, religious and cultural icons being lampooned. In some cases one branch of society will say rightly so, while another may complain bitterly. This is no reason to commit cold blooded murder. The killings in Paris will only exacerbate existing tensions not heal them.
The drawing shows a black Muslim woman discovering a mutilated body in a war zone. Her jaw drops and her eyes protrude as she draws breath and recoils in horror. It would make no difference if a white woman were shown discovering a black corpse. The mutilated arm might belong to any cultural, political or religious group. Our reaction should be the same, horror followed by compassion for the victims. It is my hope that this will be the case rather than the extreme reaction of revenge attacks on the the French Muslim population.
The second drawing imagines a woman comforting her children after her husband has been killed. Both drawings are entirely ficticious but I hope they illustrate the terrible effects of atrocities on those who have to live with the consequencies of such brutal acts.
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A Year in Pastel: landscape and natural forms
26th October to 30th November