These paintings are part of a body of work completed during a 6 month residency at the ARTSU studio in Helsinki. The early years of Finnish Independence were defined by a flight to the edges of ideology. Brown researched this and the conflict that ensued, interested in what was built from the ashes. Curious if the hard won lessons of this place can instruct people now living.
Then she turned her eyes and brush towards conflicts playing out on the world stage right now. In addressing these concerns, Ann-Marie used well worn feminine motifs to enact a feminist interruption of the old stories told about war. Battles are dances; disembodied gloves are hung up at the end of the day; the victory bouquet contains a screaming skull because such is the cost of; and garlands are also given to the loser. The dog of war isn't fierce; he's gone mad spinning in a circle, chasing his tail. Noble steeds are gentle eyed wild horses who'd clearly rather play. And the boy...the boy...needs a chapter for himself..
Ann-Marie heard the beating of war drums getting closer every time she read the news. As the mother of a son she painted this to disrupt the poisoned, passed through the generations, narrative of the heroic soldier. She choose to disrupt, because this troop is wielded by cynical politicians who trust that criticizing soldiers is the last taboo of secular society. Having used our decency to manipulate us into silence with regards to this emblem, they indecently utilize it to keep the machine going.