Deanna Leamon
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Shroud (shroud) n. 1. A cloth used to wrap a body for burial; a winding sheet. 2. Something that conceals, protects, or screens in the manner of a garment. Synonyms include to block, hide or obscure, with the shared central meaning ‘to cut off from sight.’

This evokes what our government does not want us to see and especially doesn’t want us to count-Iraqi casualties.

I began the “Shroud” series in 2003 as I watched in anguish the beginning of the war in Iraq. With no real goal in mind, I started collecting photographs that were coming back from Iraq. At some point, we were beginning to see an increasing number of images of dead Iraqi civilians. Traditional burial practice in Iraq includes washing the corpse and wrapping it in an unbleached muslin shroud. These images inspired me to create my own shroud images using models and skeletons. On a formal level this subject also allowed me to continue to explore new ways to extend drawing and to make the drawing medium serve the artistic message. Finally, as with my previous work, my “Shroud” drawings are not illustrations. Viewers may or may not have seen photographs of dead Iraqi civilians and may or may not connect these drawings with images of dead Iraqis. The series is concerned with human suffering, which goes beyond the political, to touch us more directly and personally.