{War} Zone

"When did the Hill become such a mean place?" asks Mark Bourrie in the November edition of Ottawa Magazine. The passing of 'old' guard Jerry Yanover had Bourrie reflecting on how politics has changed significantly over time: the Yanover-generation practiced the 'dark arts' with a certain code and dignity that would seem laughably ineffective in the scorched-earth approach to politics now.
The conceptual problem: How to show
the 'old' guard vs. the 'new' simultaneously? and who should be the protagonist?
I turned to the Medieval era of chivalry and codes of honor for the old guard: They stand before us in mutton-chops and moustaches (modern male politicians are all clean-shaven) grasping their weapons of choice, the pen nib as spear, which symbolizes the anachronistic handwriting and print-dominated discourse of their by-gone era . The 'new' form of politics is visible in the cast shadow: the unsuspecting old guard are soon to be dispatched by the more modern form of 'warfare' ('Death from Above'!) and the H-Bomb. I thought it interesting to have the old guard gazing across the horizon (where else would the enemy come from?) totally unaware of their impending end from actions and technology they could not foresee.

The illustration was completed using traditional Chinese ink sticks and brushes with pen nibs and sponge brushes on watercolor paper.


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