The Footsteps of my Forebears – Horizons in Disruptive Pattern Camouflage
The image of the soldier invokes solemnity. Deepening the striking visual oddness of the interplay between humanity and the environment in the war context is the weight of history, moral obligation, danger and military apparel that bears down on the individual soldier and their colleagues-in-arms. The disruptive pattern camouflage enclosing their bodies mimics the sway and thrust of visual complexity in the repeating patterns of the natural world, challenging the binary distinction between figure and landscape central to the Western art-history canon. Simultaneously, by documenting the grind of an arduous training regime or the meeting of the two ANZAC armies in a theatre of conflict these works depict both the personal histories of soldiers and those of their nation/s – for one is subsumed into another – whilst alluding to the symbolism of history’s own inexorable march toward far-off horizons.