Art Gallery

 SOME EXAMPLES OF WORK SHOWN IN THE EXHIBITION:

‘REIMAGINING PEACE: THE ART OF PROTEST’:

Once Upon A Time Large

‘Once Upon A Time’ by Ruth Keszia Whiteside (2014)

[decoupage collage mixed media]

‘Once upon a time

Children 

All over the world

Dreamed of a future

Imagined a feeling

Another place in time

When being killed by

‘Eachother’

NEVER

Happened a very-very

Long time ago.

[see Noticeboard for detailed images]

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Spoils of War

 ‘Spoils of War’ by Jillian Green

[photo-release, graphite, coloured pencil on paper]

      ‘I made this drawing several years ago after reading an article about the after effects of nuclear testings.’

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BURNING GREEN My baby’s wearing burning green Burning burning burning green I hear another mother scream But the voice sounds like my own I tear the clothing from my heart I rip my baby’s skin apart I hear another mother scream But the voice sounds like my own I rake through smoking brittle flesh I break small fingers on my breast I hear another mother scream But the voice sounds like my own I lay on bricks of chiselled ice I crave to dream a fire-less dream But my soul is hollowed carbon black And my baby’s wearing – wearing – wearing - burning - burning - green Della Foxglove May 2014 UNSAID There is a place where words are deaf Impermeable to sound They choke on sucked and livid breath From gas-green steaming ground He went to speak – to shout it out: ‘Here  death !’ ‘Here wounds !’  ‘Here blood !’ His lips were tangled in his teeth His voice was mired in the mud There is no ‘now’ or ‘aftermath’ If speech unuttered dies The meaning of the voiceless screams Aborted, shattered – lies UNSAID … “So tell me Dad about the war The things you did, the things you saw What stories have you got to share It must have been quite scary there !?” Della Foxglove June 2014

‘ Burning Green’  

poem & mixed media painting/collage by Della Foxglove 

My baby’s wearing burning green
Burning – burning – burning – green
I hear another mother scream
But the voice sounds like my own.

I tear the clothing from my heart
I rip my baby’s skin apart
I hear another mother scream
But the voice sounds like my own.

I rake through smoking brittle flesh
I break small fingers on my breast
I hear another mother scream
But the voice sounds like my own.

I lie on bricks of chiselled ice
I crave to dream a fire-less dream
But my soul is hollowed carbon black
And my baby’s wearing – wearing – wearing – burning – burning – green.

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IMAG5723

 Illumine’  (detail) by Renee Farrant

[hand cut paper vessel on 100% cotton (archival quality) paper]

‘The abolition of war can no longer be secured by treaties and ceasefires. Peace requires a collective will to sweep aside old patterns of behaviour and blind prejudice. Peace requires our acceptance of a fundamental truth: that humanity is one and that the world is one country, home to all humanity. Illumined by this universal standard, the journey towards peace will not be easy,….but any other thought of war would just be ‘unconscionably irresponsible.’ 

[Artist inspired by: ‘The Promise of World Peace’, A Statement of the Universal House of Justice, October 1985, in conjunction with U.N. Year of International Peace 1986]

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Eileen Dunne

‘Eileen Dunne’
Poem and [graphite on paper] drawing by Giles Watson 
We need rag dolls of our own before
we look at you – something we can clutch
to stop the world slipping out from under us.
Did Beaton stay to watch her change the dressing, pursing
her lip, tutting, deftly unwinding
bandage to the place she’d had
to shave before the surgeon, probing

with three and three-quarter years
on his conscience, plucked out
that long splinter of German steel?
Here you sit as children shout,

“Run, Rabbit, Run,” your eyes all wide
with trust and tears. You once feared
cracks in pavements, the eye spots
of moths, the monster who reared

his head in dreams, the pale skin
on cooling milk. Now Beaton’s gone
back to Life, left you alone,
and we need rag dolls of our own.

The drawing is after Cecil Beaton’s photograph, ‘War Child’, which was first published on the cover of Life magazine, September 23rd, 1940. An explanatory note inside the magazine said: “The wide-eyed young lady on the cover is Eileen Dunne, aged 3 ¾. A German bomber whose crew had never met her dropped a bomb on a North England village. A splinter from it hit Eileen. She is sitting in the hospital. A plucky chorus of wounded children had just finished singing in the North English dialect, ‘Roon, Rabbit, Roon.’” The reference to the skin on milk is one of the examples given by Julia Kristeva of objects which might lead to an abject response in her Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, (Trans. Leon S. Roudiez), Columbia University Press, 1982, p. 3: “When the eyes see or the lips touch that skin on the surface of milk – harmless, thin as a sheet of cigarette paper, pitiful as a nail paring – I experience a gagging sensation and, still farther down, spasms in the stomach, the belly; and all the organs shrivel up the body, provoke tears and bile, increase heartbeat, cause forehead and hands to perspire. Along with sight-clouding dizziness, nausea makes me balk at that milk-cream, separates me from the mother and father who proffer it.” This text has strongly influenced my thinking about these poems and images.

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UNSAID There is a place where words are deaf Impermeable to sound They choke on sucked and livid breath From gas-green steaming ground He went to speak – to shout it out: ‘Here  death !’ ‘Here wounds !’  ‘Here blood !’ His lips were tangled in his teeth His voice was mired in the mud There is no ‘now’ or ‘aftermath’ If speech unuttered dies The meaning of the voiceless screams Aborted, shattered – lies UNSAID … “So tell me Dad about the war The things you did, the things you saw What stories have you got to share It must have been quite scary there !?” Della Foxglove June 2014

‘Unsaid’

Poem and [mixed media] painting by Della Foxglove 2014

There is a place where words are deaf
Impermeable to sound
They choke on sucked and livid breath
From gas-green steaming ground
He went to speak – to shout it out:
‘Here death !’ ‘Here wounds !’ ‘Here blood !’
But his lips were tangled in his teeth
And his voice was mired in the mud.
There is no ‘now’ or ‘aftermath’
If speech un-uttered dies
The meaning of the voiceless screams
Aborted, shattered – lies
UNSAID …
“So tell me Dad about the war
The things you did, the things you saw
What stories have you got to share
It must have been quite scary there !?

***

John Tonkin- Detail WOK

‘WAR’ – ‘WORLD OF KILLING’ – men and matériel *

(detail) – [mixed media- metal & plastic]  by John Tonkin 2014

* French word ‘matériel’ is a term also used in English for equipment, hardware and supplies in military and commercial supply chains.

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Rosemary Turle 'Encircling Peace'

‘Encircling Peace’, [acrylic] by Rosemary Turle 2014 

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‘THREE VERAS’

Vera Brittain (1893-1970) now recognised as one of the preeminent authors and diarists about the First World War offered a personal perspective on events in many ways unmatched by others of her generation.  The loss of her fiancee Roland, her brother Edward and other close friends, as well as her experiences as a VAD nurse at the front, led her to a strong position of feminism, pacifism and anti-war activism for the rest of her life. These three images were inspired from extracts of her most famous book about WW1: ‘Testament of Youth’

'Vera' By Della Foxglove July 2014 Vera Brittain commented about a day in December of 1914: 'That afternoon the news of the [German] raid impressed me less than my purchase of a little black moire and velvet hat trimmed with red roses. It was one of the prettiest hats that I have ever had, and also one of the most memorable, for I was to be indescribably happy while wearing it, yet in the end to tear off the roses in a gesture of impotent despair'. [Testament of Youth, Virago 2008:92]

‘Vera – 1 – ‘De-Rosed’ [digital painting] by Della Foxglove 2014 

Vera Brittain commented about a day in December of 1914:
That afternoon the news of the [German] raid impressed me less than my purchase of a little black moire and velvet hat trimmed with red roses. It was one of the prettiest hats that I have ever had, and also one of the most memorable, for I was to be indescribably happy while wearing it, yet in the end to tear off the roses in a gesture of impotent despair‘.
[Vera Brittain Testament of Youth, Virago 2008 : 92]

JPG Vera - SHELLS 1 (1280x954)

 ‘Vera – 2 – A New Design’ [digital painting] by Della Foxglove 2014 

In a rare moment of off duty time as a VAD nurse in WW1 France,Vera Brittain finds momentary ‘peace’ in the beauty of nature:

‘Towards Paris-Plage the ruddy sails of brown fishing smacks caught the brief flame of sunset: along the shore irregular patches of emerald green seaweed made a futurist pattern upon a golden-brown carpet. Close to the sea a delicate scatterings of pink and purple shells began a new design; other cone-shaped varieties, curiously striped in black and yellow, might have been miniature models of fashionable millinery in the Rue de la Paix’.

[Vera Brittain,Testament of Youth, Virago 2008 : 347]

JPG Vera Victory (1280x945)

 ‘Vera – 3-  ‘Victory’ [digital painting] by Della Foxglove 2014 

‘I thought with what mockery and irony the jubilant celebrations which will hail the coming of peace will fall upon the ears of those to whom their best will never return, upon whose sorrow victory is built, who have paid with their mourning for the others’ joy’.

Vera Brittain,Testament of Youth, Virago 2008 : 421.

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‘A cat was shot for treason in World War One  It had acted as an intermediary between Allied and Axis lines: English and German soldiers could send messages to each other by tying scraps of paper to the cat's collar. The cat then ran across No Man's Land, from one trench to the other. When the War Office found out, Allied superior officers ordered that the cat, nicknamed Felix, should be shot for its being a go-between, and thus enabling fraternization between the warring troops on the Western Front. …  Felix the cat, however, (Called Nestor by the Germans) was a law unto itself. It would wait patiently whilst cheery little scrawls In English and in German Were being attached to its collar by trembling fingers, raw with cold:

Nestor Felix ‘Peace Cat’

[digital photo art/painting] by Della Foxglove 2014

A cat was shot for treason in World War One –
It had acted as an intermediary between Allied and Axis lines: English and German soldiers could send messages to each other by tying scraps of paper to the cat’s collar. The cat then ran across No Man’s Land, from one trench to the other. When the War Office found out, Allied superior officers ordered that the cat, nicknamed Felix,
should be shot for its being a go-between, and thus enabling fraternization between the warring troops on the Western Front. … Felix the cat, however, (Called Nestor by the Germans) was a law unto itself. It would wait patiently whilst cheery little scrawls In English and in German Were being attached to its collar by trembling fingers, raw with cold:
“Hello Fritz.” “Gutentag Tommy.”
“Fröhliche Weihnachten, Tommy.”
“Happy Christmas, Fritz.”
Back and forth the cat skipped across the snow, across the hard, unforgiving soil Of No Man’s Land; first appearing at Mons and later at Passchendaele. Then Felix – just like the animals In the Middle Ages who, notoriously, were tried for being suspected of being in league with the devil – was judged by the top military brass to constitute a threat through its enabling treasonous acts, through its being an accessory to the undermining of the serial hate-crime that was World War One; a war crime that left fifteen million dead Including a peace cat, who’s barely ever mentioned but whose bloodstained paw-prints are a lone, feline testament to war’s absurdity.’
Heathcote Williams 2013, Extract from ‘The Cat Who Was Shot for Treason’ on website: ‘No Glory In War 1914-1918’. http://noglory.org/index.php/multimedia/poetry-and-spoken-word/62-the-cat-who-was-shot-for-treason

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073

Abdallah’

Mixed media painting and text by Giles Watson, 2014

[Provoked by a photograph by Chris Hondros, taken on the West Bank c. 2003-2006.  Abdallah’s mother was killed by a sniper.

Hondros was later killed photographing other violence in Misrata, Libya.]

‘It struck me afterwards that I too was a sniper,
standing at the window with my hand on the focus
as he approached in that moment when curiosity
worked its way upwards through the grief. Strange
how the rudiments of composition come naturally:
the smashed glass spanning my viewfinder like
a spider’s web. His eye came level with its vortex;
I got the pupil exactly sharp, and snapped. Then
I began asking. “What is your name?” “Abdallah.”
“How old are you?” “Eleven.” “Where’s your mum?”
“A man shot her and she died. The bullet made
this hole. We were sitting on that couch, cuddled
up to her, all of us, and suddenly she slumped.”
And all the way back through Ramallah’s streets
the camera weighed heavier, the long barrelled
lens cooling slowly, and somewhere, deep in its
black muzzle, his brown eyes welled with tears’

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Mary

‘Mary’

[decoupage, photography mixed media] by Della Foxglove

derived from extract of lyrics below in song ‘Mary’ by Patty Griffin :

                                

 ‘Mary you’re covered in roses, you’re covered in ruins, you’re covered in secrets

Your’e covered in treetops, you’re covered in birds who can sing a million songs without any words’.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBiM8XSjrhw)

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