January 28, 2022

How Can We Use Human Vulnerability as a Strength in the Battle for World Peace?

Shelagh Brown

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FilmAn Arms Manifesto, 2021

My work, inspired by human behaviour and darker themes, evokes strong emotions. An Arms Manifesto developed as a performance from an installation of found objects; a jumper stretcher, a pair of World War II crutches, and a pair of hand carved shoe lasts. Together they formed a strange hybrid figure, sculptural and strong, connecting ideas of hand-made craft, family and community, war and human vulnerability.

The coat of arms theme was inspired by a New York Times article; Donald Trump appropriated a coat of arms, without permission, for his own use. ‘The copy, printed on everything from golf carts to socks, made a single small change: where the original said “Integritas”, now it says “Trump”.’ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/28/business/trump-coat-of-arms.html Playing on the term coat of arms, originally a cloth tunic worn over armour to identify warriors in battle, this alternative coat, with 5 metre long arms, symbolises a wide, human circle of embrace. The performance develops the theme of weapons and war in relation to human vulnerability and connection. This new performance, filmed outside during lockdown in 2021, exemplifies our human vulnerability and disconnection in the face of a global pandemic, in peace or in war.