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political discourse / newtown 26

Newtown 26_26x48_encaustic_d.thompson co

Newtown 26, 2015, 26X48” Ceramic faces, crayons, semi-automatic brass shells, aluminum cookie cutters, and encaustic on board.

Bushmaster AR-15, a military-style assault rifle was the weapon of choice by a killer with unaddressed psychological problems and easy access to weaponry at home. Adding to the confluence of dangerous parts, the highly profitable domestic arms industry markets and sells battlefield weapons with impunity and has fought legally against any regulation of firearms in general.

In 5 minutes, 154 rounds were fired, 20 elementary school children and 6 adults were slaughtered. The Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was the deadliest shooting at grade school in U.S. history and the second-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history. There will be more to follow.

As an American society, the situation begs us to question our core values: innocence and creativity versus calculation and destruction. And, to determine if the Constitutional intent of the Second Amendment really meant absolute unfettered access in all circumstances as many in the gun lobby would propose.

The Newtown 26 flag is a homage to the children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary and the families who endure.

The weaving of slightly melted crayons with high-caliber bullet shells intimates the seamless intertwining of two diametrically opposed thoughts: children and guns. These stripes alternate with ones containing ceramic, child-like faces that embody the school children who survived the physical wounds but not the mental. The ambiguity and lack of personalization allows them to be anyone's child. 20 penetrating brass shells intermix with the ghostly faces; they represent the children we all lost in the unclear nature of wax medium.

Fifty aluminum cookie cutter stars fill the flag field to represent all teachers in all fifty states. To complete the telling, six stars are removed and replaced by six penetrating shells in recognition of the six teachers who also lost their lives.

It was a bad day for America.

newtown 26 / detail

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