Artist Statement 
FRIENDLY FALL OUT

In my work I have created an alchemy.
The metal in this sculpture carries traces of radiation from all of the atmospheric atomic tests of the 1950s and 60s. This metal which once was a Japanese or Korean car, previous to that could have had a life as an aeroplane or a ship, and after being in its’ present form might be again but right now it is a sculpture portraying a history of warfare. A history that takes us back to an early part of our atomic age when our enlisted soldiers were deliberately exposed to radiation for unclear yet morally questionable motives. After the effects of radiation on the population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki became obvious to everyone, should our soldiers, enlisted to protect us, not have had appropriate protection given to them as a common duty of care? At the end of the arms race we have realised a devastating armoury that is held as a deterrent against a possible enemy; in testing these weapons have we not been naïve in our sense of security? What now of our concerns with the development of the same weapon technologies in emerging countries? Look closely at this sculpture, what remains of the family car? – perhaps a serial number still stamped into the metal somewhere? What of its future or the futures of our family cars as they are shipped to China and beyond as scrap then perhaps transformed into weapons? What forms will these futuristic weapons take, unpiloted drones or robots capable of mass destruction, any army of soldiers excluded and civilians the only targets? All technology is available to terrorists in a world of huge population growth where we are left thinking “who is the enemy?”

Gary Bennett