Indeed the artist’s favourite piece was created in open ground, under fire from insurgents with small arms and rocket propelled grenades. A distinctly dangerous situation to be in when holding a rifle let alone a pen, yet it presents a scene of apparent tranquillity and beauty.
As Edward Hopper’s compositions manage to capture little snippets of everyday life, so too do Cook’s, albeit in the un-controlled environment of a warzone. They share an honest glimpse into the conflict from an average soldier’s perspective, a perspective which was their everyday scenes. Through a selection of line drawings and coloured illustrations, the collection covers a diverse range of subjects from military jet aircraft and foot patrols to unloading aid trucks and wrecks of war.
So why then are Mr Cook’s pictures so compelling and seemingly real. Far from seeking to glorify war they are merely documenting. The art derives from a personal perspective, that of a soldier - an artist, who was actually there, having served on numerous tours. The mastery of his chosen medium and an understanding of the military situation create a certain accuracy that is hard to replicate.