I am commemorating significant places people and events from WWI with a series of artworks created a hundred years on. Each year I will be looking at the major events and seeing which ones inspire or interest me in telling their stories through art that I create. In 1915 the following have particularly caught my interest:
- The execution of Edith Cavell a British nurse who assisted hundreds of allied soldiers as well as French and Belgium men to escape Brussels through the time it was occupied by the germans-More of this in additional blogs as i have become fairly obsessed by the inspirational work and life of this brave woman and will be doing a major piece of art to commemorate her life work and death by execution for treason.This will include the participation of volunteers in its creation and is planned to tour to a number of places including Belgium.
- I will be painting on the frontline in Belgium in June as the second major battle of Ypres occurred in 1915 but also 2015 has the 30,000th sounding of the last post at the Menin Gate-built to commemorate the dead of the battles-an incredible commitment to sound the last post each evening so many times. There is also the story of hill 60 an example of miners blowing up this man-made hill 60m above sea-level killing all the germans holding the hill.
- The Armenian holocaust which is thought to be the first genocide of the modern era- up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed or their deaths were caused by the turks. -This story will be told in another blog post!
- The use of poison gas not only by the Germans but also by the British in 1915 which caused the death or disablement of huge numbers of men on both sides. As my work is intuitive and I take in my inspiration that then comes onto canvas when ready
- The invasion of Gallipoli and its terrible toll on the men involved. I have visited this area in the past and seen the terrain for myself that they had to endure.
Some of these stories are well known to many but some are not and it the less well-known stories that are seeming to inspire me most. This is what I love to do-tell stories to others through art as a visual piece of art reinforces the emotions that our brain responds to enabling us to remember a story in the future. Our brain responds incredibly to a story-from the times when we were in caves telling stories around the fire-enabling us to connect to each other, strengthening bonds and hence the groups survival. Telling stories to each other is a very sociable event and experience and doesn’t just have to be in the pub over a beer.
To buy prints of my paintings from 1914 please go to
AND THEY FACED EACH OTHER
AND THEY WAITED
AND THEY PLAYED AT CHRISTMAS