Barbara Bruneau-Cleaver

Baghdad Burns
oil on wood with collage
8 x 10 in.

My work in the past has seldom been overtly (but often covertly) political. But as I have watched the carnage and destruction in Iraq, it has affected me more with each day’s new horrors….

One day, when home ill, I had the TV on. I watched – and wept – as I saw the remnants of a family in Baghdad mourn the loss of their mother, brothers, sons…family, home, neighborhood, livelihood… everything.

I went into my studio, and on a wood panel I painted the face of a child. After some thought, I found online images of old pages of the Koran, which I printed on Mexican bark paper. Then I burnt and otherwise distressed them, thinking of the burning of the library of Baghdad, the sacking of the Museum, all the private homes that have been destroyed… All the lives lost.

The culture…decimated.

This piece is a true and immediate response to what I saw and felt that day…and continue to feel.

© Barbara Bruneau-Cleaver