2/3. William Nobel, Alexander Dawson and John Harper of the 72nd (Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders) Regiment of Foot, July 1856. [via Reddit]
Alex Colville’s haunting “Pacific” (1967).
How do you interpret this piece? The pistol—a Browning Hi-Power, standard issue for the Canadian Forces—makes me think of a peacekeeper recently on leave and haunted by the horrors he’s seen. Searching for solace and torn between the tranquility of the ocean in front of him, and the oblivion-providing pistol behind.
“The picture is one of the artist’s finest, a compositional clenched fist that is organized around the dynamic between a man (fleshy, vulnerable) and a gun (cold, clinical, an instrument of termination). The scene is still, but it could hardly be described as peaceful. Instead, like many of Mr. Colville’s best works, it is motionless, but taut with feeling.
The idea of men and their weapons haunted Mr. Colville throughout his life. Having been on the beach at Juno, watching the Canadian soldiers make their assault and meet their fates, and having witnessed the heaped corpses in the concentration camp at Belsen, he had sustained some early shocks. We now have words for these sorts of feelings – post-traumatic stress disorder, the inability to shake off the trauma, to see life again as whole and good, and the unnerving awareness of how close to the cliff edge of mortality we walk every day, whether we acknowledge it or not. That knowledge trembles beneath the surface of the world as he perceives it." (Globe & Mail)
How about a cat that is a gun? A very creep 2/3.
‘Bone Pistol Set (#1) 2012
Two bone dueling pistols (with spare bullets) mounted in a custom altered case which has been counter-sunk into a specially made rimu table. All of the bones have been found locally by the artist. The head on the bottom gun is from a ferret and the top one is from a black-backed gull. Both have barrels made from cat’s vertebrae. This archival quality work by Wellington artist, Bruce Mahalski (with assistance from local jeweler, Vaune Mason) has not yet been exhibited and this is the first time it is being offered for sale.
More info here.
Cat-gun 2. 2/3