Mary Griffiths’ knowledge of war began with her parents’ stories and a suitcase full of black and white photographs taken by her father during his service in the Second World War. War remained family history and background news until she began to record, nightly for eighteen months, the images of war flickering across her television screen. She stilled the flow of news to make rapid sketches of those who were making the war and those caught up in it, ‘seeing’ what she was being shown. Her drawings are lucid and humane in their depiction of the fabric of lives lived in war: handcarts and helicopters, a gunman’s stance, the quiet after a roadside bomb. Mary Griffiths abolishes the distance of screened images, compelling us to share her witness.
Published by Carcanet Press, 2009.