From Bombs to Bullets

On August 1989 the IRA planted a 150kg  Semtex bomb at Quebec barracks in Osnabruck, I was stationed at this barracks but out that evening. The bomb went off, but they had positioned it outside of a temporary accommodation block and as a result no one was seriously injured.

As the regimental photographer at the time I got the unfortunate task of photographing every piece of shrapnel that was found at the site. Two weeks of constant image making of metal fragments put an end to any desire to follow this pathway once I finished in the services. But it wasn’t the end to my interest in shrapnel. The objects that I photographed were uninspiring to look at and even less inspiring to photograph, but they were vital to the investigation.

Fast-forwards now to my current work ‘Impact’ and obvious influences can be draw, the tiny fragment that on it’s own means little, but coupled with the story embedded within it and it’s suddenly charged with an authority that it previously lacked. The content of the image is the same but the abstract object is drawn into sharp focus.

All of the images from the series have been used in gun crime, some in fatal shootings others have been dug out of walls after missing their targets.

The image below for example has the embossed markings from the material of a bulletproof vest that was worn by a police officer.

This project has relied upon the help and support of a forensic lab, but I’m always on the lookout for new objects so if you have any ideas of how to find more objects then message me.

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