oil on canvas
26 x 31 cm
During my time in the infantry, including a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, my mates became my family. We were a bunch of young misfits who had found identity and mateship when we joined. We fought together, marched together, shared food together, carried each other.
But then when it’s over, everyone goes their separate ways. You’re no longer a soldier but you don’t feel like a civilian. You had an identity and a place in society, but now you don’t know where you fit. Now, despite knowing how to navigate so well, you feel completely lost.
My work portrays the vulnerability we experience when transitioning out of the military. When we discharge and shed our uniforms, we are stripped of an identity and struggle to find our bearings in civilian life. In the army, we are adorned with new skills and knowledge, and yet in “civvy street” we feel bare and raw. We get to go home but in some ways, that feels more foreign.