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Broken on the Rock of War

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John Sheri­dan’s Broken on the Rock of War has been selected for the nation­ally juried exhibit, Our True Heroes, at the Gilroy, CA, Center for the Arts

Sheridan War Exhibition

John Sheridan’s sculp­ture consists of twelve small stools designed, made and painted red, white, blue and black, placed in arcs around a block of Sierra granite strewn with broken bits of stone and a hammer. The stools are made of recy­cled plywood from ship­ping crates. In a perma­nent instal­la­tion the seating would be cut stone. 

First made for a meeting of the Cali­for­nia Statewide Collab­o­ra­tive (for assis­tance for discharged veter­ans) Broken On The Rock of War was made by John Sheri­dan of Port­land, Oregon. 

The instal­la­tion invites visi­tors to use the setting for medi­ta­tion, contem­pla­tion and discus­sion about what should be done to assist mili­tary veter­ans, partic­u­larly the youngest, who have served in the war on terror” and have not had the oppor­tu­nity to deal with the psycho­log­i­cal aspects of what they expe­ri­enced. The setting is intended to provide a place to search for reflec­tion and inner peace.

The colors of the stools, of course, are the colors of the Amer­i­can flag and refer­ence to patri­o­tism and, with the black, to the despair and help­less­ness that may affect up to 50% of the combat veter­ans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

By recent reports 16 veter­ans kill them­selves each day

John Sheri­dan is a Port­land wood­worker, and the lucky recip­i­ent of timely and effec­tive treat­ment for PTSD at the VA facil­ity at Fort Miley in San Fran­cisco. His latent symp­toms of post-trau­matic stress disor­der were trig­gered by the 1996 death of his wife by an aggres­sive cancer. He is a member of Veter­ans for Peace. He is a combat Special Forces medic in the Vietnam War in the mid-1960’s.