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Millenium Court Arts Centre|
Portadown, Northern Ireland
Combat Paper Project
Combat papermakers Drew Cameron, Chris Arendt and Drew Matott presented an evening lecture to the public outlining the work and art of the Combat Paper Project, and engaged the audience in a discussion of the current status of the Irish Conflict.
The following day a papermaking workshop was held, bringing Catholics and Protestants together, resulting in the pulping of both Union and Irish flags, as well as US and English currency.
The final piece, Victoria Square, Belfast, 2009 was constructed from a base of four flags sewn together, covered with the combined shredded pulp from the workshop. Two partly shredded flags were tangled together and imbedded into the base pulp. A splashing of red-toned pulp created a hole which was filled with partially pulped English currency. The piece was donated to the Millenium Court Arts Centre and the people of Belfast.
Victoria Square attempts to recognize the still festering wounds experienced by those involved in the Irish Conflict, as well as their inevitable historical connections, and the strategy of transforming Belfast's city center through corporate commerce. By encouraging the people of two different cultures to communicate through the language of commerce, is there a risk of erradicating the cultures of both?
The events at the Millenium Court Arts Centre were part of the Combat Paper Project's United Kingdom Tour. The tour consisted of exhibits, papermaking demonstrations and workshops, presentations and street encounters, all designed to further the discussion of the culture and human impact of conflict. The objective of the tour was to broaden the already existing model of using papermaking processes as cathartic artmaking exercises. The intended audience was expanded to include families of those fallen and civilians caught in the cross-fire of conflicts in and around the United Kingdom.
Chris Arendt and Drew Matott at the public presentation
Drew Matott explaining the papermaking process
Cutting flags for paper pulp
Twisted flags in paper pulp
Victoria Square, Belfast, 2009
The tour also included stops at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Imperial War Museum in London, England, the Birnam Institute in Dunkeld, Scotland, the Phoenix Art Gallery in Brighton, England and the Warrington Peace Foundation in Warrington, England. The tour was funded in part by a grant from the Arts Council of England.