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Stuart Hall

Stuart G. Hall joined the U.S. Navy in the early 1980s and was deployed to Lebanon in 1983, soon after a bombing in Beirut, which killed 241 U.S. Marines. Hall describes his experience in combat as “a flash in the pan” compared to that faced by the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Soldiers he sees returning from those wars are often scarred – physically and emotionally. He feels great sympathy. Hall lost four fingers and severely injured an arm, which was reconstructed with rods, pins and screws, following a train accident. “Adjusting to the limitations of an injury can be cumbersome,” he says. “More difficult in my mind is the psychological aspects of such injuries. Overcoming the stigma attached to them and the ever-present reminder of the ordeal can be overwhelming,” Hall says.

Bombs That Go Bloom

36 x 24 x 60 in.

Mixed Media: Hanging Paper and Wire Sculptures

The flowers that descend from bombs in this paper-and-wire sculpture are symbolic of healing, which Hall considers the most important element of the combat experience. The flowers signify that “even in the horrors of war, there may be some hope and benefit.” The artist dedicates this piece to the two orthopaedic surgeons who he relied upon to use medical advancements developed in combat situations to restore function to his arm.