In 2009 McCrow’s close friend lost both legs and an arm in an explosion whilst on tour with the British Army in Afghanistan. It was one of the catalysts that turned a distant fascination with guns and weaponry into questions about individual purpose, morality, hidden stories and the ability of one person to make a difference.
Since then, McCrow has begun a journey to deactivate and destroy as many weapons as he can. It’s a personal quest to understand first hand the terrible consequences of conflict and through art, tell the unheard, human stories that share their past with each weapon he finds.
As well as making a small but important difference to arms reduction, McCrow is producing a body of work that is proving to be extraordinarily provocative and totally captivating.
An underlying theme of the work is an exploration of moral insanity; described 200 years ago as a decay of social affections, an aversion to the nearest relatives and friends formerly beloved; in short, a change in the moral character of the individual.
Guns have long had an extraordinary and terrible influence over us. There are those who glorify them, those that subjugate through them and those who suffer by them. McCrow captures this polarising behaviour and brings the subject into the 21st Century, portraying it with originality, wit, and soul.
Working with weaponry procured directly from areas of conflict and then decommissioned, McCrow wants people to look beyond their new representation to acknowledge the dark story each weapon carries with it; to challenge our sanitised view of guns, our reaction to their being in front of us and with that our own morality.
McCrow’s art is controversial, thought provoking and embraces the contradictory views that come with guns and refocuses them with a fresh perspective and a heartfelt purpose.