London-based artist Anna Burns and photographer Michael Bodiam decided to take on a tough question in their latest project, “Silent but Violent.” The question has to do with modern attitudes towards war and violence: “Are we hungry, enthralled or just anesthetized?” Due to the recent violence around the world, as well as its portrayal in media, the artists used this project to explore the human fascination with large-scale destruction, gore and warfare, and how despite its horrors, it seems to sell.

“Modern warfare is clearly no joke, but rampant self-perpetuating thirst for gore and mass-destruction still runs rife among the mass media and begs plenty of questions about our appetite for the mystery and mayhem of modern combat.” That’s the description the artists give about their collaboration. To illustrate the concept, Burns and Bodiam have created multiple sculptures of that icon of mass destruction, the mushroom cloud, out of everyday items commonly associated with beauty and joy, such as flowers, fruit and balloons. The results are bright, intricate and beautiful objects that also bear the foreboding shape.

A quilt brings in the idea of comfort, warmth and heritage. Combined with a symbol of war, it raises questions about war’s history in shaping families and societies.

Marbles make up this mushroom cloud. Marbles are playthings, and this sculpture makes the viewer wonder about how war and violence are depicted to children.

A fluff of white balloons forms this mushroom cloud, indicating ideas of celebration and holidays. How much do violence and celebration go together?

Flowers are signs of life and newness, but also commonly found at funerals and memorials. This sculpture is also a play on the classic vase shape.

This mushroom cloud is carved out of fruit. While it evokes ideas of plenty, the discarded pieces are reminiscent of carnage, and the fruit will eventually decay.

(Images Anna Burns and Michael Bodiam|designboom)

The results could mean a variety of things, depending on how you look at them. Are war and violence so commonplace that they have been integrated into daily life? Do we glorify these things, making them into a perverse beauty? Has cultural violence infiltrated our homes under the guise of something else? What does all this say about ourselves, and our future?

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Artists Celebrate The Deadly Beauty Of Mushroom Clouds With This Incredible Art.
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