I wandered lonely as a cloud, 2022

42 Postcards, 6 x 4in

Each image featured in this series depicts the immediate aftermath of an explosion caused by a rocket, bomb, IED or landmine, and has been cropped to draw focus on the indexical sign of the event: smoke. Although there is an absence of explicit destruction, the violence is implicit in each image, ever-present, just beneath the veil, in the shimmer of the orange glow of fire, a tank, a line of rooftops at the lower edge of a picture from which the smoke seems to rise.

The cropping and absence of further information is making it hard for the viewer to identify the conflict in the context of which each image was taken, until, when viewed together as a group, they become almost uniform, except for text that has been added to each event: words used to describe clouds in poetry, meteorology and popular culture.

By making the viewer complicit in the act of “cloud spotting”, the piece intends to serve as a chilling reminder of how desensitized we are to seeing images of war, which barely register with us on our social media feeds, and of how war is often treated as a game, not just in the form of children’s activities and toys, but in military training and combat.