Janet McKenzie interviews painter Joyce Cairns about her work which is on view in the exhibition Beginnings at Tatha Gallery, Fife, Scotland.
Cairns comments: "The first war painting followed my mother’s death; it was about my father because some of the memorabilia of his war experience came to light. My mother had been tormented by the war… The earlier works referred to war in a very loose way, but did not refer to a specific time or place. I had to go on various tours not only to get a sense of where my father had been (especially Tunisia), but also to photograph not only the area but also many of the artefacts recovered and placed in museums… It is my way of making the paintings connect authentically to the past. I cannot do paintings about battles, I was not there, so I am a war tourist and connect to history by removing the artefacts from museums and bringing them back to the site of conflict."