WAR CHILD x Carling Jackson
I have had a series brewing in my mind and heart for some time now that addresses and brings awareness to the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable children. Specifically, I will be addressing children in conflict zones with War Child Canada through my work. As well, I have been invited to Camp Zaa'tari by Save the Children to run art programs for youth and create projects with refugee children and Syrian refugee artists in an effort to raise awareness and funding via my artwork/projects.
The combination of modern photography with our current visual culture has led to people becoming overly desensitized to harsh realities, and inured to the pain of others - this is especially true with photos of children who often have been through so much people forget they’re looking into the eyes of a child. I asked myself could I use the practice of “art for social change” to give MORE agency, control, and POWER to children - so that they can tell you THEIR story through their own images, words, and voice. I came up with the idea to have their artwork in the background juxtaposed with a portrait of them that I paint in the foreground. This was inspired by Basquiat’s work and goal “to paint like a child.”
The juxtaposition reinforces the reality these children face and makes it that much harder to forget, turn away, ignore - the contrast becomes too present, the reality too powerful. So, I present to you my WAR CHILD Series with children from War Child Programs in Afghanistan. WAR CHILD is my favourite organization and these pieces are being made into some purchasable items. So STAY TUNED. FOLLOW THEM and if you can, donate to their amazing programming. Seriously, Amazing.