From the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 it was clear war would signify civilian casualties and suffering.  I  began my war diary, drawing in sketchbooks in the evenings,  continuing through the catastrophic Iraq Invasion of 2003 and ever since.    There is no coherence to my war diary – I just pick up my pen or brush as I watch the evening news.  Occasionally I take recurring themes into the studio to create 3D pieces.

Flight and migration were dominant themes from the very beginning.  The true devastation of families and communities is outside my experience or pictorial language, yet the sense of grief is too challenging to ignore.  How to respond?   It may seem archaic, for instance, to articulate despair through images depicting the exile of the Three Graces, but, for me, they signify, not a concept of ‘beauty’,  but the true grace of a communally shared culture, perhaps firstly seeded in the household and through the agency of women, in cuisine and hospitality, song and dance, the market place, ceremony and neighbourliness.    Grace flees alongside the citizens of destroyed communities.  And grace morphs into terror and fury.

My war diaries are dedicated to all women past and present whose lives have been shattered by armed conflict.