Mariupol: The Theatre of War.
This image shows the amount of detail in a small section blown up to 6m x 2m
I have now added some written details about this piece underneath the image should you be interested.

.....For anyone who 'knows' my work, they will also know that I like to try and explain my thinking behind (some) of them. However, because the subject matter behind this piece is truly indescribable, almost incommunicable in normal civilized vocabulary I am having great difficulty. I have now lost count of the number of changes and updates I have made to this piece which I actually began working on a fortnight before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. My image began with just a huge dilapidated looking Russian fist, powered by some worn-out decaying machinery, at this point just threatening to crush a small Ukranian arm raised defiantly in resistance. Soon my image had to be expanded because even though an assault had been widely expected, the actual shock and the reality of such barbarism caused me to rethink whatever it was that I had started trying to depict. The initial bombing of Kyiv and Kharkiv showed immediately the level of ferocious barbarity that Putin was now prepared to unleash on his noncompliant neighbour. I made my first alterations by building up the “stack” of resistance: the incredible fortitude of the Ukrainian people. At the same time I began to widen the image because the conflict now had global implications. So the big question now posed was - 'how will the rest of the world react?'
.....From that point on, the news and information coming out of Ukraine just kept getting more and more harrowing and heartbreaking, yet nobody seemed able to come up with any ideas for how to stop it. I suspect most people are like me, knowing little or virtually nothing about the history and politics of that whole region of the planet (unless you've lived in Eastern Europe of course) so it is difficult to understand the underlying, hard-wired animosities that still exist. Of course all the countries in Europe have had disputes and wars with each other that go back centuries; the 20th century producing the two most devastating wars the world had ever witnessed. But the concensus since those wars seemed to be that we were entering an age where we thought we were enlightened enough to settle arguments by diplomacy or other such evolving means: a Third World War must never even be contemplated we are constantly told. And so another underlying question that any civilized person would also like an answer to is, 'how in the 21st century, have the world powers allowed this potentially apocalyptic situation to develop?' - even though we know that is an impossible question to answer!
.....However as my image widened, I did experiment with a range of thoughts around the first question, 'how will the rest of the world react?' but I soon realised that we already have the answer to that. The world is reacting: basically treading very carefully around the situation as if it were a disease and trying to ring-fence the contagion. It seems that regardless of all the prior warnings, the world still seemed stunned and reacted by watching and waiting...physical confrontation or even provision of certain resources having already being ruled out to avoid an escalation.
.....Soon after came the assault on Mariupol and what we witnessed in full view, in real time, in living (no dying) colour, was the beginning of the planned genocide of a Nation – and since then all we still seem able to do is watch as our whole world teeters at the edge of the precipice of survival. How appallingly appropriate the phrase “Theatre of War” is, when we talk about the regions where conflicts break out – well we've certainly got an actual theatre to focus our minds on now...Mariupol Theatre. And so a few days after March 16th 2022, I realised that the only title this piece should have is - Mariupol: The Theatre of War.
.....That attrocity certainly re-awakened in me the sense of just how vulnerable we all are to the maniac dictators who unfortunately still exist and with whom we have to share our planet. Already the 21st Century has had its fair share of horror in the places that sadly seem to have become 'the usual hotspots' around the world, which to be fair to most of us in democratic countries, those conflicts seem almost incomprehensible in nature, or too remote for us to fully understand and follow closely. And even though most of these ongoing conflicts are still very distressing, they have mostly become so convoluted that they seem historically almost irresolvable; as with the Afghan situation. But not with this: not with Ukraine. Ukraine has changed everything...forever!
.....In fact to use the theatre analogy, as I mentioned this image began 'centre stage' where we see Ukraine and Russia. And it depicts the tenacious spirit and unbelievable bravery of all Ukrainians who have been living with this existential threat for decades. They are truly the lion-hearted warrior-guardians on the front line of defense for all our western democracies: they need to be they're living on a tectonic political faultline. But then as the image kept on widening over the past few weeks I have tried to portray how it is affecting the other 'players' and how they are relating to this theatre of war - on both sides. The big-name players have quite obviously been watching for some time, ready and willing to play some major role, yet even now they're still contemplating their options as to how they will play their chosen part. They have begun cautiously to react and respond to the shouting of an outraged audience but they are still rehersing only relatively small scenarios, reluctant, paralyzed almost by what the cataclysmic consequences could be, should they reveal their full repertoire prematurely.
.....On the Eastern side, China appears to be sitting the audition out for now, watching quietly and simply waiting to scoop a big part out of the wreckage. However “The West” knows we have to be ready for a sudden change in China's ambition for a star role, which adds to the urgency and need to accelerate its response. The western powers are a mixed bunch with plenty of talent but with no single coherent strategy for playing the starring role as yet. They know time is of the essence and they are beginning to 'wind up' for some sort of audition but they will need to be far more energized if they are going to give their best – and winning performance. What we see at the moment is a lot of grappling and improvisation with the situation that unfortunately is still coming over as a bit of a tangled presentation: what it needs is choreographing into a single unified aim. Even then it will still need a director to take on the great challenge of implementing that aim with a strategy that will not provoke the Putin psychopath to unleash weapons that could cause even worse atrocities.
.....Having said that, it would be hard to imagine anything worse, because already what we see and hear in the media is completely unimaginable for outsiders by any civilized standards. So, this image is not trying to depict the utter devastation and scorched earth policy that is now raining down on Ukraine...even the most graphic TV images (and there are more than enough) can evoke only 1% of the horror of actually being there. I think the image has evolved over the last few weeks into my attempt to portray this utterly hellish cataclysm. How has the Dictator - “Putin the Insane” or “Butcher of Moscow”, whatever his new title - with his diabolical and inhuman war machine, powered by the crumbling remnants of the Russian Soviet State been able to create this inferno; here in the centre of Europe in the third decade of the 21st century? Only now do we fully realize how much Ukraine must have suffered from the decades of sustained intimidation by Russia - but Putin has sunk to even greater depths of depravity: HE, now seems intent on its total annihilation..
.....And so while all we can do is watch and wait to see the approaching final act of this atrocity, it is now even more important than ever for us to do whatever we can to help the people of Ukraine in this struggle.
.....So for my small part, because this is not an image I would want to offer for sale commercially, (but because it does now exist) I'd like to offer the use of it to any charity(ies) or organization if they feel it has any fund-raising potential for them.

.....The image is created from a massive, detailed digital file which can be used to create imagery for any use they wish, BUT for humanitarian fund-raising purposes of “Alms for Ukraine” (as distinct from Arms for Ukraine – that's in another league). The image could be used in all forms of print, it could easily be posters or blown up to street bill board size and even be displayed digitally up to a cinema size screen. In fact the files could even be used to sell NFTs from it, creating a potential ongoing income stream into the future. However, I do not use social media and so I'm not the best person to contact the right people. So if you think you can help in any way please let me know.
.....The last thing to say is thank you for taking the time to read this. Martin

And who knows the image may evolve further. Please check back to see any changes! 14.4.2022

.....Since my last alterations and updates to this image, today 17th May 2022, Mariupol has finally surrendered its valiant struggle. Now it will go down in history as another example of the apotheosis of the human spirit, personified by its endeavour to overcome the darkest of inhuman forces and acts of atrocity.
..... As such, I will be not be making any more updates to this image but I hope it manages to portray our battle for the survival of freedom and decency – which will probably never end - but neither will it ever be snuffed out!