Artist & Craftsman

the fallen

the fallen

The Fallen consists of portraits made in response to the media reports of the rising death toll of British soldiers whilst serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. By superimposing multiple faces of serving fallen soldiers, the work creates a composite image of the military body whilst reflecting on the fleeting media images of ‘The Fallen’. In the end the series consisted of 45 photographic portraits, from 12 nations. The final 45 portraits were printed as Giclée prints and presented in a hand bound Tome, edition of 12. 

Jad Oakes’ The Fallen was conceived in response to the rising death toll of fallen UK soldiers in Afghanistan: “The faces flashed up on the screen during news reports and then were gone, adding to the previous day’s toll. All these soldiers were being compressed into a single unit of measure. This led me to question what becomes more important, the individual or the unit of measure they become? ”. UK Afghanistan is one of a number of pieces composed by Jad. In it he creates a single portrait of fallen men and women by reducing individual portraits of soldiers to one image. He challenges the notion of classification in war and death, creating an ‘our’ fallen whilst paying heed to the individuality of each face in the composition. Consequently, he shows us the social body and the individual body in one image. The result is a face of spectral and uncanny form that challenges the corporeal notion of the body in war.
— Sarah Maltby - War and the Body exhibition, 2010