Broken on the Rock of War
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
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.