“Combat Paper” runs June 21 through Aug. 19 at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-6595, themuck.org, combatpaper.org.
Cameron served in Iraq in 2003 and then in the Vermont Army National Guard. After earning a forestry degree from the University of Vermont, he cofounded the Combat Paper Project in 2007. The nonprofit offers free workshops so veterans can share their stories of service by hand-making paper from their old uniforms.
This piece is made of U.S. military uniforms worn in Iraq, as well as the old Iraqi dinar currency bearing Saddam Hussein’s image. “A tradition of any military conflict is to collect artifacts,” Cameron says. “These ‘trophies’ carry the time and place, the memory and reflection, of how they were acquired.”
“I commemorate the act of collecting trophies of my own as well as the U.S. ideals of freedom that were the reasons for our involvement in Iraq. As a veteran, I can find no better way to interpret war than through art. As a papermaker, I can find no better way to honor it than to encourage others to practice the craft as well.”
Browse a gallery of Drew Cameron
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue.