Three weeks ago I drew in ink and graphite an abstract based on the forms of a swan.  Today I painted into it and over it.  I built on remembered photographs of smoke pouring from shattered cityscapes but this is not intended as representational art.  I do not claim it to be a great picture.  I painted in haste and in anger.

I had driven to work listening to the BBC correspondent Paul Wood.  He has spent five days reporting from inside the city of Homs, under siege and under artillery bombardment.  To quote:

” An eleven year old boy was brought in having taken full in the face a mortar blast which had ripped off all his face below about the middle of the nose and we just saw those shocked eyes staring above a bloody mess …”

“The man who wraps him in a white sheet and puts him in the ground … we asked him, have you had to do this for any of your relatives and he said well four of them, my son, my brother in law, my cousin, my uncle.  Very many families have been touched by this kind of loss …”

I know I live a comfortable life far from this but violent repression thrives on silence.  Perhaps, moved by this,  you too might paint in anger.



6 responses to “Homs

  1. Your thoughts are provocative. I have driven into work many mornings wiping tears from my eyes after listening to a story on NPR. For me the horror is I often drive home after trying to help victims of domestic violence reconcile their current life with what was perpetrated upon them.

  2. Dear Michelle.
    Thanks for commenting. It’s true I intended to be provocative.
    I do of course recognise that indignation at the worlds ills is all very well but perhaps makes no difference, whereas getting up each day and dealing with the fallout of tragedy, as you do, really matters.
    Still, with a worldwide media, reposting and disseminating news perhaps does build a pressure of opinion that can limit violence and halt repression.
    My little blog is trivial but only in the same way as my individual vote doesnt count.

    On this note, however, how much do i admire Paul Wood who went in under fire to get this story out!

  3. Sometimes the pieces I’ve done “in anger” come out a mess, but so what, I guess? I can see a lot in this one. I really appreciate that it started out as one thing, a thing of grace, and ended totally differently. I think that captures the event perfectly. I’ve been following the news, and your piece has echoed in my mind a couple times. Thanks for posting…

  4. Pingback: kestrelart

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