Erin Candela is a Toronto based artist and co-founder of Graven Feather, a hybrid gallery and studio space. Working primarily in drawing and printmaking, Candela explores boundaries of truth and myth within Canadian history.
Candela’s work, Omar Khadr is the Man in the Moon III, recollects the case of a fifteen-year-old Canadian citizen who was accused of killing a U.S. soldier after a firefight. Khadar, born in Scarborough (ON), had traveled to a compound near Khost, Afghanistan to help his father with a humanitarian effort. When U.S. forces bombed the compound on July 27th, 2002, Khadar was wounded, accused, and detained. He spent the next ten years of his life at the Guantanamo Bay prison, and did not return to Canada until he pleaded guilty.
Omar Khadr is the Man in the Moon III depicts a dream-like state experienced by the subject. Though this state is speckled with images associated with Canada, such as pine bows and snow, Khadar ignores them. The visual created is telling of how the Canadian government’s inaction to remove Khadar from U.S. custody may have challenged any sense of Canadian identity he might have.