Daniel Kotynia

Surrender 1–3

Image of artwork

Highly commended

2021
dry point etching/digital prints
sheets 59.5 x 42 cm, prints 41.3 x 29.4 cm

I remember watching the planes crash into the World Trade Center on 9/11 and seeing the anonymous people jump from the inferno to their deaths. I have always been struck by the calmness of their postures as they fell. In those final moments they surrendered and found peace.

I surrendered. It is not a term that a soldier is normally proud of, but surrender was my salvation. I surrendered to the war within me – the war that I brought home. I gave up trying to bury the nightmares, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks. I surrendered the weapons that were not working – alcohol abuse, anger, and avoidance. Rather than fight P.T.S.D. I embraced it and I am learning to live with it. I use my trauma to understand the trauma in others. I use my trauma to appreciate the beauty in the world as well as the ugliness that exists. I use my trauma for my art.

My series of three prints depict people falling from the World Trade Centre on the 11th of September 2001.

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