Secunda is a British painter and sculptor who has traveled around ISIS-ravaged parts of the Iraq with the help and protection of the Peshmerga (Kurdish soldiers), and more recently with the support of the Iraq Culture Minister, the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and the Iraqi army. The purpose of Secunda’s travels is to make molds of ISIS inflicted damage from ancient artifacts and buildings, to “capture the texture of geopolitical violence, with a focus on the destruction of culture”. Secunda superimposes the ISIS damage on casts of ancient objects – creating an unsettling impression that the ancient works have been shot and smashed. Secunda’s process has been called a “carefully crafted record of cultural violence” which “opens a chilling window into the widespread destruction of historical and cultural artwork.”
When asked why he undertakes these efforts, Secunda’s response is clear: “I felt quite clearly that the thing that I could contribute was a record...it had to be recorded. It was too big, I couldn’t not do it.” He believes that “the most valuable thing artists can do is… record the world around themselves in some way”. Several of Secunda's works will be on exhibit at Long-Sharp gallery; ten percent of any sales will go to Kind Aid (the Kurdish region orphan charity in Iraq).
Above: Four Horses © Piers Secunda