Oradour, Elegy for a Town 2011-2013
The tragedy of the destruction of the town of Oradour-Sur-Glane in France and its 642 inhabitants is still to this day surrounded in controversy as to why this event occurred and in this particular place. It is therefore of interest to me as an artist, to relate through a series of painted artworks, the haphazard and illogical process that often in warfare results in the clinical and barbaric destruction of innocent people in their environs.
The town of Oradour had lived as a peaceful community for a thousand years, yet within a matter of hours when the soldiers came, the town and the existence of its inhabitants was erased forever. Oradour-Sur-Glane has always had a special place of interest in my imagination, so in June 2009 after successfully being awarded an Arts Council Travel and Training Award, I was able to visit the memorial village and further enhance my imagination and realization of this visual phenomenon. I was able to collect numerous photographic images, visit the memorial centre and view additional footage and objects of interest and also make a film of the physical remains of the town itself as it stands today.
I have chosen a narrative approach towards the representation of the events in Oradour to emphasize the unfolding occurrences and the brevity of time that condemned Oradour to exist forever as a “dead town“.