The North Gate of Baghdad (After Corot)

Scenes from a liberated Iraq April 2003

Simon Norfolk, The North Gate of Baghdad (After Corot), from Scenes from a Liberated Iraq, 2003

Simon Norfolk depicts landscapes affected by the perils of war and genocide. While showing the destruction caused by conflict, he also highlights signs of life and hope. His compositions, influenced by eighteenth century landscape painters such as Corot, present the viewer with the majesty of nature, but closer inspection reveals that the image is one of ruin as well. Norfolk had this to say about his experience in Baghdad and his series titled Scenes from a Liberated Iraq:

Arriving in Baghdad (after a $1,000 dollar taxi ride from Jordan) ten days after American soldiers pulled down Saddam’s statue. An entire city in absolute darkness at night. Distant buildings burned by unknown looters. Arguing with nervous American soldiers. Finding everywhere the discarded clothing of Iraqi conscripts who had demobilized themselves to save their lives. Destruction everywhere. The kindness of strangers but an utter inability to explain to them what kind of bombs had hit their houses and fields or why their children had been killed.

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