Glenn Fitzpatrick, Gulf War veteran (1990 – 1991), author (Arts and Mines), Artist. After witnessing the atrocities of war and encountering the devastation that it leaves behind, Glenn would help round up the prisoners of war (P.O.W). He met with one that would change his life forever; P.O.W. Saddam was captured in the desert and had been surviving on thin air, looking frail with malnutrition. Glenn gave him food and water, watching the life return to this person and seeing such relief, he discovered the importance of humanity and vowed if he got home alive he would return to education and put to use what he learned.
After several year of studies and coming close to death himself, having a cyst under the base of his brain on the carotid artery, Glenn picked up a pen and began to document events while in recovery. This is where his art journey would begin. Prolific in drawing Glenn would make studies until the pen ran dry, saving the pens over the years he knew he would make something from them but what? It was not until the Charlie Hebdo incident that Glenn realised there was an association between emptying pens and emptying a machine gun magazine. The irony, emptying a magazine to kill authors of a magazine was a bold and unprecedented manoeuvre. Glenn knew from this he would need to make a sculpture that said ‘As much as we want the freedom of speech, we should also consider the freedom to offend!’
Glenn is an Associate of the Society of Graphic Fine Art. His drawings have won prizes in the Annual Open competition both in 2013 and 2014. The SGFA are delighted that Glenn has won the third place Award at Passion for Freedom for his courageous work.
The annual PASSION FOR FREEDOM Art Festival celebrates freedom. Selected artworks from all over the world were selected via an Open Entry system. The main questions that Passion for Freedom seeks to ask are:
What is freedom?
How easy is it to lose it?
How hard is it to get it back?
The artists involved include those who cannot work under their own name for fear of reprisals. Art in all its forms was celebrated and films, books and journalists accompanied the visual art exhibition. The aim of the festival is to promote human rights via aesthetic expression.
Find out more: www.passionforfreedom.co.uk
Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie’s studio is based in London where she draws and paints. For more information please see www.charliekirkham.com