2014 Competition Artist

Surviving War is Hell: A Continuing Study in PTSD

Artist: Brad Carraway
Location: Travelers Rest, South Carolina

Artist Statement

This sculpture is a personal testament and symbolic narrative of my struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which were brought on by the experiences I had during my deployment to the Iraqi war zone. I originally designed the piece as a very personal form of emotional purging in my own healing process, but it has since taken on a life of its own and has become a catalyst for conversations about the disorder for other veterans and viewers. Since its original incarnation, I have had several veterans ask to have items included into the base that represent their personal combat experiences. Now the base has become an ever increasing portion of the sculpture which changes slightly in each installation of the piece. The representation is now both personal and universal, encompassing in general the experiences of other veterans who suffer under the burden of PTSD.

Artist Biography

I am a native son to the Pee Dee region of South Carolina; and until recently I was a prodigal son to art. When I was younger I was really obsessed with creating; always drawing from the time that I could hold a pencil. But as I grew into adulthood the distractions of family life and career took me away from art.

It was while I was deployed to Iraq and involved in real life and death situations, that I was forced to reevaluate my priorities in life. It turned out that art was extremely important to me.

Since my return from the war zone I have submerged myself in art. I have found art to be my greatest catalyst to my emotional healing and a perfect form of therapeutic release. I am currently attending college at USC Upstate taking art and psychology classes in preparation for a career as a counselor for fellow combat veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, using art as a form of therapy to educate, empower and heal from psychological and physical trauma.