David Cotterrell : Aesthetic Distance

David Cotterrell : Aesthetic Distance

Date: 31st December 2007
Copyright Status: © David Cotterrell

Exhibition Leaflet for the solo show at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art, London. The leaflet includes documentation of photographic works and extracts from Cotterrells diary.


The flight is uneventful. Engineers improvise a repair to the cooker and the time passes. The Load Master approaches: preparation for tactical descent. Body armour, helmet, Kevlar seats and backs are applied. I am told all lights will go out 30 minutes before landing. I begin to feel nervous…we are advised to watch for and report tracer-fire, missile launches or rocket attacks.

After two years of negotiations between the Wellcome Trust, Imperial War Museum and Ministry of Defence, David Cotterrell was invited to observe the Joint Forces Medical Group at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He underwent basic training, was taught the rudiments of battlefield first aid and was issued with body armour. In November 2007, he flew in an RAF C17 from Brize Norton to Kandahar, the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7.

Diary Extracts David Cotterrell, Commentary Jordan Kaplan, Design by Fraser Muggeridge studio.

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