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Fabric of War records personal and collective histories of conflict, translated into paper from uniforms and monuments. The cathartic artworks of the Combat Paper Project are executed by veterans using paper made from uniforms imbued with private memories, while Marshall Weber's rubbings trace the narrative of war imprinted in its monuments. Both hang like the military flags and banners associated with communal rituals embodying a country's history and ideals. As symbols of faith and fellowship, the presentation of military colours and standards is to this day marked by a religious act of consecration. When no longer in use these insignia are laid in churches, enshrining the Eucharistic remembrance of atoning bloodshed.
Fabric of War reconfigures these interweaving narratives. Marshall Weber's rubbings include pieces taken from Royal Air Force memorials in the church of St. Clement Danes on the Strand. These hang above the Combat Paper Project's works of ritual catharsis, which transform the collective emblem of uniforms into paper telling personal histories. A different communion of insignia and symbolic sacrifice is enacted, creating a shrine to lost remembrance and unrecorded histories.
Mark Sheerin of Culture 24 wrote a brief review of the exhibit.
The exhibit was curated by Nick Dubois, Courtauld Institute of Art. Drew Matott and Chris Arendt led the workshops. On opening night, there was also a live Skype video-link set up with the Combat Paper workshop in session at the Morgan Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio so gallery viewers could get a taste of a traditional CP workshop in action.
Drew Matott at the opening
A portable beater was used in the demonstrations and workshops.
In the gallery
Chris Arendt in silhouette
Fabric of War was shown at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London from May 18 - June 26, and at the Phoenix Gallery, Brighton from July 3 - August 15. The exhibitions were part of a workshop tour of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland by the Combat Paper Project.