Trench warfare or similar field works have been used to hinder the advancement of opposing armies since the beginning human conflict. On the Western Front, during WWI, extensive excavations were made by both sides. Changes in weapons technology (artillery) outstripped advances in troop mobility; heavy defensive installations were the only advantage. “No man’s land” was located between the opposing force’s trench lines. It was a bomb-pocked landscape – bloody and unforgiving.
This sculpture, Futility, depicting a simple trench line and surrounding devastated landscape, is a symbol of the futility of war. Going over the trench to advance the line, even if successful, resulted in heavy casualties. Trenches all too often became a soldier’s tomb.
The use of iron and steel signifies the transition from the pre WWI use of iron as a material to the advancement of alloy steel in the post WWI era. These differences in materials can also allude to the transition from hand made technology to that of mass production. The iron that I have used to make this sculpture is recycled from a bridge that was built ca. 1900, Missouri, USA.