{Trial by Fire} ~ Larry O'Brien and Terry Kilrea

"There are so many truths in politics, so many realities. Not everything you hear is what is said. Not everything that’s said is what is heard. Words are not always precise things. The English language has so many words, but words are sounds the brain uses to transfer information. Some people can craft this transition very well: each word is pretty much the right tool for the job. Others can’t. They have a messy tool chest, a bucket of rusty nails and bolts when they need fine tools to fix a watch. In politics, words are, like votes and money, part of the tool kit. In law, words make up all of the tool kit. So when the precise words of law are fitted to the deliberate obfuscations of politics, strange things can happen. For two months, off and on, Superior Court judge Cunningham tried to make sense of a lot of words: Larry O’Brien’s pre-2007 municipal election pitch to Terry Kilrea, the words Terry Kilrea used on his never-ending quest for a new job, the words of the lawyers prosecuting O’Brien on election corruption and influence peddling."

so wrote author Mark Bourrie as part of his Abstract for the current September issue of Ottawa Magazine.

My job? try and visually represent this.
Since the emphasis was on words,nuance, and interpretation, I opted to create a Boggle championship where both participants characterize the other based on the letters they have before them. The contestants, Larry and Terry, eagerly consult their respective counsel. In the end, the 'winner' is the one who finds the most words to characterize the other.I used Chinese ink sticks, Chinese calligraphy brushes, dip pen nibs, and sponge brushes on watercolor paper.


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