"CAN ART INFLUENCE POLITICS"
Exhibition of sculpture and Drawings by John Buckley
"This is the first showing of the sculptures and drawings produced by John Buckley after his visit to Cambodia. As a patron of the Charity Mines Advisory Group, he wanted to help their efforts to clear landmines through his art. John went to Cambodia to see for himself the fields that are still killing people"
"It has taken me six years to make sense of the living nightmare I saw the bits of flesh thrown out of the window by the doctors so making their own living monument to the horror that landmines create. Screams followed by silence as the amputees sink in and out of consciousness with the pain." "I doubt anyone can go to Cambodia and come back the same. It changes the way I see people, the way I hear words."
"I walked through the liquid air of Siem Reap looking for images in this surreal landscape but all I could see was deep fear and uncertainty."
"Going to play, for the children, means losing a leg. Working in the fields on the small handkerchiefs of sale land is a gamble ... one of these small mines may be silently easing its way to the surface to explode. Safety lies in strictly following the well - worn tracks made by the villagers."
"The war is not over - the secret war continues with the landmine legacy. How could I capture this paradox in my drawings. I felt completely inadequate. It made more sense to see the little two year old girl who had bitten her tongue off - a simple accident. I remember her pain more precisely than the hundreds of amputees. Their pain was too much."
"The sun on my back, blue skies, lush tropical plants, the rusty soil, the waves of light across the paddy fields ... it was all memorable. And yet I was transfixed. I came away with one feeling, one image, the agony of the limbless from the landmines."
"This exhibition reflects how I looked at that, sometimes straight on, at other times sideways, perhaps with irony, but always “in the face”.
"It has taken six years to break free but at least I can. The Khmer people can't. They're still slaves to landmines. That's a political decision. Can art influence politics?"
The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is a humanitarian, non-profit, non-governmental organisation concerned with the impact of landmines, especially anti-personnel mines, on innocent communities and their families. MAG is active in establishing mine surveys, mine clearance and awareness programmes so that rural communities can live without fear of death and maiming by mines.
MINES ADVISORY GROUP 54A Main Street Cockermouth
Cumbria CA13 9LU Tel: 01900 828580
Uk Registered Charity No. 1020441