I wouldn’t put the time and effort into the paintings and essays if I didn’t dearly love the subjects. The hours I put into going through and going through the Hanford Declassified govt site, looking for images to work on…and painting…and painting…and painting…and writing and looking up articles…many many hours, but then it’s a subject that has been with me since I was a child.
And Counterpunch linked to Reactor Man this past weekend.
I love that image. I did a number of those parade images (still more sitting that I haven’t finished) because what’s a parade but a time for celebration, for the kiddies to marvel and the adults to exult. And what was being celebrated? The image “C’mon Kids! Wave at Reactor Man!” (Where the Old West Greets the New) is, to me, gut-wrenching. It says so much about that era, about Hanford and Richland, the people who were there, and, of course, Nagasaki, the reason for Hanford and Richland. My old hometown. With its beautiful desert landscapes and radiation-fried tumbleweeds and the beautiful desert and the anxiety over what was past the horizon in the desert, and the love for the desert, and the fear of what had been and what could possibly come. And my fear, even though I was only eight and nine, over what was being done to the area that no one was talking about at the time.
I did not want that image of Reactor Man meeting the old west languishing in the Hanford Declassified govt site. So I pulled it, like I pulled the other images I felt really said something of the era, and I painted it, hoping to make it also transcend just speaking to that era.
And I am very pleased that Counterpunch linked to it this past weekend. So, so pleased.