Will others’ suffering ever become ‘our’ suffering?

Will the suffering of others ever become our own?

Christian Kerr

My drawing is part of a series entitled ‘The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction’ which depicts the defining moment two nuclear bombs, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Using charcoal and coloured pencils as the medium, I investigated the awareness that humanity can inadvertently destroy the planet and all who inhabit it. We are one. One world, divided by land and water, divided by border guards and barbed wire, divided by race, divided by religion, divided by class, divided by political parties, divided by a system that tells us to hate our neighbour. Will others’ suffering ever become ‘our’ suffering? This question lead me to use a ‘stream of consciousness’ approach, allowing me to express thoughts and emotions that I was present with when working on the piece. Various symbolism, journal entries, signs and imagery urge the viewer to form their own interpretations on what is depicted, as they immerse themselves in the scale of the work. An unexpected, therapeutic and meditative quality fell onto the work while doing this, relieving built up tension I had gained from researching such a catastrophic event. In our lifetimes, we will find many unexplainable acts of both cruelty and kindness that will defy explanation - yet life moves forward.