Digital print of scanned war medal and ribbon. Ribbon replaced by a stream of blood and dirt against a ground of grit and dust. The medal covered with grit and dust with only tiny fragments of it visible.
Attribution note: This suite was produced as a boxed set as well as in this format as individual prints
Peter Kennard works predominantly with photomontage to create works that address the issues of poverty and the sale and deployment of armaments. His famous poster reproducing John Constable’s Haywain carrying nuclear missiles has become an icon of late 20th-century disarmament campaigning.
Since 2002 Kennard has also used Computer-Aided Design and, with the technological expertise of Cat Picton Phillipps, has produced a portfolio of 15 plates addressing the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its consequences. The images are scanned composites of old war medals purchased in Camden Market, London, their ribbons severely distressed by the artists.
In their introduction to the portfolio the artists wrote ‘We gritted the scanner, bled on it; threw torn-up rags, flags and ribbons on it; poured oil then stamped on the stuff, burnt it and spat on the lot…In some of the images we used photographs taken with great bravery by documentary photographers in Iraq. Their commitment to keeping us informed often showed us the extreme degradations that this war has brought upon the Iraqi people.’
This print is an enlarged version of one of those in the portfolio, which is also in the V&A collection (Museum no. E.231:1-22-2005).