conte on paper
100 x 76 cm
Transition to civilian life can be extremely challenging for soldiers. After discharge, what is expected to be boundless freedom becomes lonely abandonment. This is a portrait of Ron, who served in the army for 24 years. During this time he was involved in action and was wounded in a peacekeeping operation in Cambodia. This portrait reflects what I noticed in Ron and other returned service personnel. The structures and codes of conduct that one once lived by, have all but evaporated. Meeting a person with shared experience who is able to understand the inner turmoil is infrequent. There’s the overwhelming feeling that all you have accomplished is unappreciated or worthless. To turn your back and walk away from a world that that you once staunchly defended, and that now seemingly does not care or understand, is a choice.
My intention for this drawing is to capture the emotion and inner schism of a veteran staring into the abyss, at the point of a decision that will change his life for ever, but he feels his options are limited.
Ron is ok, he has come back.