ArtRage: The Norton Putter Gallery

505 Hawley Avenue Syracuse, NY

Combat Paper, October 8 – November 1, 2008

We were so proud to open our gallery with this exciting exhibit which ran thru November 1, 2008. COMBAT PAPER is still touring and members are currently giving papermaking workshops all over the nation. It is a collaborative project initiated by Drew Matott and Drew Cameron along with members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. Utilizing uniforms worn in combat in Iraq, veterans cut, cook, beat and form sheets of paper out of their uniforms. In this way, veterans are able to use the transformation processes of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to reconcile their experiences as a soldier in Iraq.

The Combat Paper project is an art therapy that utilizes paper as its medium and has been generating hope and inspiration for war veterans all across the country. The project has a positive impact on veterans, serves as a visceral statement of the long lasting effects of combat and acts as a catalyst for community discussion and activism. The participation of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in this project illustrates just how committed they are to both ending the war and occupation in Iraq and to healing the damaged spirits of returning veterans. Unlike the media portrayal of anti-war activists as unpatriotic and focused only on the negative, Combat Paper and IVAW proves to have a positive impact on veterans, serves as a visceral statement of the long lasting effects of combat and acts as a catalyst for community discussion and activism.

The project began in a paper-making studio in Burlington, Vermont. Green Door Studio has become a place where combat veterans can go and be encouraged in their return to civilian life. It also provides a graphic statement on war, especially the war in Iraq. It grew out of the relationship between two men named Drew; Drew Matott and Drew Cameron and their connection with members of IVAW. Together they created this project as a means of reclamation; as a way for combat veterans to reconcile their war experiences and transform the uniforms that have such negative connotations into something hopeful and positive. For more info on the current activities of the Combat Paper project visit http://www.combatpaper.org/ .

A documentary film on the Combat Paper project is in the final editing stages. For more information on the film reference this url: www.iraqpaperscissors.com as well as writing the filmmaker Sara Nesson: snesson@mac.com

As part of the events we offered during the run of the Combat Paper exhibit we were honored to host an IVAW performance piece including the shredding of a uniform and readings from the Warrior Writer’s book held on Thursday, October 16th from 5-8pm at the gallery. A Th3 video is available for viewing at __________________.

Three films were also shown during the month of October: