Crown’s father was a navigator in the early years of the Cold War, flying reconnaissance trips over the north pole. He flew in a B-29, the same type of aircraft tragically used in the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Crown’s father flew by the stars at night and landmarks during the day. He was part of an elite group called the pole jumpers. His snapshots from this time inspired the Bomber series, exploring the complexity of navigation with limited instrumentation.
Understanding history through her father’s lens affected Crown profoundly and led her to investigate concepts of bearings, exploration, and locating oneself in the story through this series. Crown re-printed the photograph of his plane onto a mirrored stainless steel surface. The impact of the piece is felt in part because of how the highly polished stainless-steel amplifies the dramatic horizontal diptych format. Working within the language of mechanical reproduction, Crown deliberately distances herself from the otherwise personal narrative of the image. And yet, the reflective surface draws the viewer into the narrative instead. The viewer is forced to reimagine themself within the context of the B-29 cockpit, the environment where the devastating bombs were released. Recognizing ourselves within this scenario, the artist confronts the viewer with the question: What would you do?