Nelson Guda

Fallen Leaves project is a set of works dedicated to those who have died in the Iraq war. A portion of the sales of these images to charities that support veterans and Iraqi refugees.

Series I The inspiration for these works came one day as I was looking closely at the leaves that had fallen around the oak tree behind our house. That morning I had been reading an account of progress of the war in Iraq, and as I marveled at the subtle beauty and myriad scars on the leaves I couldn't help but feel that I was looking at a sadly beautiful visual analogy. I created these pieces to be printed very large and quickly came to realize that there is much more to these cast-off leaves than initially meets the eye. Many of the leaves have an intense beauty when enlarged, and an inch-long leaf enlarged to a wall sized mural reveals a stunning miniature landscape. Viewed at these scales, the scars accumulated by the leaves over their short lives, and the abrupt nature of their ending call to mind a sense of both the fragility and tenacity of life. 

The names that you see flashing across the screen are the coalition servicemen and Iraqis whose deaths have been recorded. The names are from the US Iraq fatality list at and the Iraq Body Count at To view the works, click on the leaf in the middle of the page.
Series IIThis second set of works was inspired by photographs of grafitti from American Soldiers in Iraq. The words are often intense and moving. Flashing across the screen are realtime tweets related to Iraq from anyone on the internet - a sort of internet version of grafitti in my eyes.

Listen to Nelson talk about the Fallen Leaves project:

The inspiration for fallen leaves (1.5 min):
Working on fallen leaves (2.75 min):

You can help directly by donating to these AIP A+ rated veterans charities Fisher House Foundation (FHF) and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), and these AIP top-rated charities for Iraqi war refugees.