It seems we, as a people and as a country are almost always at war. If we ourselves are not, we are supporting someone who is. On this day, Memorial Day, we look to remember those who have given their lives, for the sacrifices they made, and continue to make.
Highlighted today is gallery artist Jay Tyrrell. His newest series is I Remember, is a multi-layered project, that deals with conflict and honor, family and sacrifice. This body of images is still a work in progress. It is an offering to his Father, a veteran, as well as to all of us who struggle with supporting our family, honoring the choices we make, and carving out our independence. We are all touched in some way by the vestiges of war, and each one of us honors those who so heroically stand in harms way. Jay’s photographing memorials of war, these monoliths that are constant reminders of what we have been through, of who we lost, our patriotism and our global efforts for peace. Surrounding these structures lies the intellectual ideas of conflict, opinions on the value of war, of our sacrifice. This body of work examines the complicated emotional conflicts we are all a part of.
I Remember…Symbols of War, Conflict and Protest
An excerpt from Jay’s artist statement.
My Father was a warrior. Semi-pro boxer, decorated veteran, relentless entrepreneur, his conservative and inflexible worldview was shaped by events he had experienced and lived.
During my coming of age in the 1960’s, suddenly he was confronted by issues and events in a changing American society at odds with his ideas. This began a period of alienation between us, for I chose a different path than he, rejecting how he saw the world, in favor of new ideals, shaped by the peers of my time on issues of war, race and ecology. This was certainly not unique in families of that era. This is my story, told visually, shaped by the events over my lifetime that I have been witness and part of. The issues of opposition to war and conflict have not lessened since my awakening in the 60’s, America has had troops in harms way 68 times since my birth. The sounds of protest may have diminished but the issues are still real and immediate.
I am photographing objects, using them as symbols and touchstones of events and issues that continue to shape my life and opinions. Memorials erected to honor sacrifices with loss is at the center, they represent the collective memories of all who have been part of those turbulent times, how they have shaped us and changed how my generation views the world today. My Fathers history shapes mine and some of his memory is here to honor my new understanding of him, because in not recognizing that, I cannot reconcile mine. The symbols of protest represent a departure of my own views, released from the confines of my earlier thinking in search of a more ideal tomorrow.