I recently read about The Combat Paper Project on Etsy and was incredibly moved by this amazing powerful endeavor.
The Combat Paper Project is a collaboration initiated by Drew Matott and Drew Cameron, involving war veterans, activists and artists. The premise is as simple as it is impossibly complex: take a uniform of war and transform it into a creative healing initiative.
Combat uniforms are shredded, turned into paper pulp and re-created into powerful, cathartic works of art.
Drew Cameron explains: "The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reclaiming that association of subordination, of warfare and service into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration."
"Through ongoing participation in the papermaking process, combat papermakers are attempting to progress from creating works specific to their military experiences to expressing a broader vision on militarism and society. The work reflects both the anger of the past and hope for the future. Through this collaboration between civilians and veterans, a much-needed conversation is generated regarding our responsibilities to the returned veteran and an understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare."
The Combat Paper Project is based out of Green Door Studio in Burlington, Vermont and has traveled throughout North America. Providing workshops, art exhibitions, and artist talks, the project is a collaboration between artists, collectors, schools and combat veterans.