Geoffrey Laurence, Hold Fast, 2004

The artist writes “In the painting we see one soldier’s journey of experience. Reading from right to left, the first is fresh, gung-ho and ready to shoot and kill anything required. The middle soldier reflects the numbness and bewilderment that overcomes him when he realizes what war is really about, when droves of innocent civilians end up being the real victims and not the ‘enemy.’ The left soldier is depicted in a state of withdrawal and disgust at what he has found himself forced to undergo, perhaps questioning the justification for what he has done and the contradiction of being called a hero for it. In the background I quoted a Rubens painting of a rape scene, adding the putti in the top left to represent myself. I, of course, appreciate the necessity and selflessness of the many that have served and generously given their lives for our protection in the fight against the evil, but I fervently hope and pray that someday our species can rise above the necessity for maintaining armies and that warfare becomes a thing of the past.”

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