Artist's description:

This work is a commentary on the symbiosis that is war and peace.

Military personnel are historically associated with tattoos. Pop culture credits the navy with the introduction of body art in the early 1900's when sailors returning from overseas took back their skin-art souvenirs. However, Army Staff Sgt James Campbell who has tatoos himself says that across combat arms especially, probably a good 90% of staff have a tattoo.

Historically, one may think of military tattoos as red hearts with perhaps 'mum' scribed through them or anchors with the name of a loved one, today body art is very much a part of youth culture and a way of expression of self. In a world in which everything is geared to economics from birth, through education, marriage children and death with hardly any escape it is easy to understand the accretion of this self-expression.

Every generation has had some aggression which shadows their youth and today that comes not just from a military threat but with the potential for terrorist attack. from their own doorstep, street, and city.

This piece is crowned with the lotus flower one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism and one of the most important images of the faith. The roots of the lotus flower extend into the mud and the stem grows up through the water and the flower blossoms above the surface.

Representing the symbiosis that is war and peace overlaying the suggestions of the military of epaulets, and medals, I have referenced symbols and words of peace through the decades - poppies for Rememberance, Picasso's Dove of Peace suggested as a medal and 'pinned' alongside a medal which could possibly be The Victoria Cross. Laurel wreaths were given to the conqueror 'to the victor the spoils' and the arms left deliberately raw to represent such 'spoils'.

A line from the poem by Leo Marks The Life That I Have. Leo Marks was a code breaker in WW2 and suggested that the allies make up poetry as the Nazis were finding it easy to break the code of well-known poems and prose. He gave this poem to Viollete Szabo (immortalised in the film Carve Her Name With Pride). Viollete was a French agent of Special Operations Executive who was eventually captured, tortured and killed by the Nazis.

Referenced too, are John Lennon's beautiful and poignant lyrics that are 'Imagine'.


Materials used:

Acrylic and graphite



  • Artwork description
  • Shipping
  • Returns and refunds
    We want you to love your art! If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can return it free within 14 days, no questions asked. Learn more
  • Artist Reviews (2)
  • Make an offer on this artwork

This artwork is sold by Anita Pollinger-jones from United Kingdom

Would you like 10% off?

Your regional settings

Excellent - Five stars - Trustpilot