Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
The piece is for 'Articles Of War', a show that the Armed Forces Art Society is putting on in the Glasgow Lighthouse in November. It will be my last one as the Chairman (we don't have presidents) before Eve Montgomerie takes over from me fully.
I thought of the humble sandbag, millions of which were used and are still being used in wars around the globe. That really is an 'article of war'. (Of course articles of war are usually thought of as rules or concepts rather than things) Could I use sandbags for an art piece? The poem of course is about death - the'good night' - but also on the Western Front in WW1 a 'good night' was one without barrages, star shells or rain, when the night sky was visible in all its glory and a man could look up in wonder and perhaps forget for a moment the horror of his circumstances.
So I decided on a 'sandbag soldier' looking up into the night sky. I have cast in plaster polymer before, using top quality materials from Tiranti, but never modelled in it. This piece is more home-made, using sandbag material and plaster of paris that I am mixing with diluted acrylic gel as the polymerising agent. It seems to work. I am also using finer bandage material from First Field Dressings and triangular bandages that come in army medical kits - all 'articles of war'.
The starting point was an armature fixed to a plywood base. Even the base comes from an old army box!
|Armature with baseboard attached|
|Starting to add sandbag material and bandages|