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    'Parade of Nations' - a unique herd of two feet high fibreglass camels, painted to showcase the artistic tradition of individual participating co… Read More
    'Parade of Nations' - a unique herd of two feet high fibreglass camels, painted to showcase the artistic tradition of individual participating countries. The parade, which is being supported by 20 countries, is to be showcase at various high profile public locations throughout Dubai before being auctioned for charity. Read Less
The USA camel in Dubai's Parade of Nations, 2003
Liberty at the Carpet Souk Exhibition, 2004
In 2003, I was invited to participate with a group of artists on the Dubai Parade of Nations, a public art project showcasing Dubai's neighbors and major trading partners. While this seemed like good fun at first, I soon realized the pressure to represent the United States in a positive light while remaining sensitive to the political climate of the region. This was in July, 5 months after the US invasion of Iraq, 2 years after the Afghanistan invasion and 9/11.

Living as an ex-patriot in the Gulf, what did the concept of the USA mean to me? Upon reflection, I realized my understanding of American democracy is rooted in childhood history lessons, and that these ideas appear significantly different from what was being exported into the Gulf region in 2003.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness became the base idea, and other historical phrases followed. Working on this project stirred long dormant patriotic feelings. I hope this project encourages Americans to be proud of their heritage, critically understand the present international situation, and appreciate the difficult role that the United States is playing in it.

To realize this project, I drew the flag bands on the camel, and then measured them much like a tailored suit. I flattened the bands and using Adobe Illustrator, added the text, warping it to fit the camel. The text was printed on a signage printer and applied to the camel as a template for the paint, which was applied with a sponge.

Today Liberty resides at the American Business Council (ABC) of Dubai and travels often to ABC events.
Design marks on the base sculpture. These photos were imported into Autocad to create complex lines. The lines were imported into Adobe Illustrator to add and warp text to fit within the curves.
The underlying or base words of the stripes.
Historic quotes warped to the camel frame. This file had to be exported to dxf file and imported into the printer cutting software.
Adding the vinyl sheets for the red layer.
Sample of the sponging method on the vinyl covering.
Two layers of white text
Completed camel, showing the final, red and blue text.
Liberty with her neighbors at the Dubai carpet souk, 2004