I take images of objects, soldiers, and environments from old photographs and memories and overlay them on top of background images. In the design process, I create a single image. My intention is to spark conversations about soldiers involvement in the Iraq war and conflicts between various Palestinian groups and Israel. Each print series has a specific goal and response to historical and contemporary military culture.
I think about the different situations soldiers get themselves into: comrades traveling in unknown lands, search and rescue missions, and training sessions. I seek to explore specific feelings behind these experiences: the desire to become something else other than a solider; abandonment soldiers feel from their loved ones; the lost identity and isolation felt from their home lives. Characters in my work often take a ghost like appearance and are sometimes empty, discomfited, and remote from the landscapes. I pay small attention to the detail of my figures, just outlining their characteristics. In this sense, they are losing something about themselves, feeling incomplete.
“Company L” series is a body of printmaking work about my grandfather’s (Joseph B. Tellie Sr.) involvement in World War II. In conversations, Joseph discussed the horrible outcomes of his journeys through Germany and the Central European campaigns as an enlisted United States Solider: the loss of close friends, hardships of battle, and the separation he felt from his own life. I dedicate this print series to the battles Joseph fought in, mostly notably, the Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central European campaigns, and the Battle of the Bulge.