“Beyond the Uniform: An Exhibition of Combat Paper” at Art 101
Fine art by veterans, on paper handmade from military uniforms, with works by KEVIN BASL, ELI WRIGHT and others.
MARCH 6 – APRIL 5
OPENING RECEPTION MARCH 6, 6 – 9 pm
From the Combat Paper website:
Hand papermaking is the language of combat paper: from uniform to pulp, battlefield to workshop, warrior to Artist.
Coming home from war is a difficult thing. There is often much to account for as a survivor. A new language must be developed in order to express the magnitude and variety of the collective effect… By working in communities directly affected by warfare and using the uniforms and artifacts from their experiences, a transformation occurs and our collective language is born.
Through papermaking workshops, veterans use their uniforms worn in service to create works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper.
…broadening the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare. The work also generates a much-needed conversation between veterans and civilians regarding our collective responsibilities and shared understanding in war.
Kevin Basl served 2 tours in Iraq with the Army as a mobile radar operator. He earned an MFA in fiction from Temple University, where he has taught writing. He is currently a workshop facilitator with Combat Paper NJ and Warrior Writers, and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Eli Wright served as a combat medic in the Army from 2002 to 2008. He was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division from 2003 to 2004. After returning home and struggling to make sense of the experience, he joined Iraq Veterans Against the War and later, in 2007, began participating in Warrior Writers and the Combat Paper Project. He has been teaching papermaking and printmaking to veterans since leaving the military and is currently an instructor for Combat Paper NJ.
“The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within these old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.”
— Drew Cameron, 2007
ART 101 is located at 101 Grand Street, between Berry and Wythe
Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday 1 to 6 or by appointment; 718-302-2242. The gallery is wheelchair-accessible.