The National Veterans Art Museum is honoring Memorial Day 2012 with the opening of a new mural installation, “War Made A New Me,” by Dominic (Dom) Fredianelli, one of the subjects of Where Soldiers Come From (POV 2011). Dom is in one of the museum galleries all week working on the mural before it is unveiled this Saturday, May 26 along with a film screening and artist’s talk. Check out his progress throughout the week here on the POV Blog. Today, Dom also tells us about a piece he made last week as part of “The Arts and the Military” conference in Washington, DC.
Day 1: Chicago
Today I started on the Mural at the NVAM. Chicago has turned into a state of madness with the NATO meeting, so traveling to and from where I am staying has been interesting.
The Wall itself is roughly 25-30 ft long on both sides and its height varies from 8 to 10 feet. The hallway in between the 2 walls is about 6-7ft. I decided to use both sides of the wall, using 2 different American Flags. Although there will be many more layers to go upon them, this is my base. I used the normal coloring for the flag on the left, replacing its stars with peace signs. This flag will represent the honor I felt helping people during war, and not killing them. I believed that spending time with younger people and trying to be as human as possible with them would leave an impression much stronger than fighting would. It also represents freedom and peace, in general.
The flags opposite will be the black flag on the right. This flag will represent the horrors a war will do to a person and their families. I replaced its colors with solid black and its stars with question marks. I believe the mirror effect of the 2 flags will give the piece a lot of emotion, attitude, and sadness as the difference between the 2 is not that much.
This first day has been very emotional. The venue of a piece can alter your way of thinking alot. I am surrounded by works of Art mostly created through war and military, and they are both dark subjects. The music I have been listening to is very upbeat, and my style has become very emotional and out of control, which is great for the way the flags have turned out. 2morrow i start the figures that will fit in on each side, and hopefully start their outlines by late 2morrow.
I drew this picture at the AMH conference this week. I attended the Conference for a screening of WSCF, but also attended Warrior Writers/Combat Paper Project as well. I went through all the steps from cutting down your military to pulling sheets out of the then beaten down material. While going through the steps and actually making the paper, the group (mostly Veterans of a service branch, not all war veterans, however) did writing exercises that would then be transferred to the paper we made later on.
I created the drawing while mostly thinking of the effects of PTSD on the brain and body. It was done on paper created out of a uniform that was overseas. It was a very emotional and powerful week. I met a lot of great people. I hope to stay in contact with Warrior Writers and the Combat Paper Project in the future as they are both very powerful tools in the healing process.