I have created an initial series of 3 paintings, commemorating significant moments of World War 1, during 1914: the First Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 is entitled ‘And They Faced Each Other’; the retreat at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914 is entitled ‘And They Waited’; and the Christmas Truce on 25th December 1914 is entitled ‘And They Played At Christmas’ .
These paintings are colourful and emotional representations of these events and some viewers have found their emotional connection overwhelming. I took the paintings to a meeting this week and explained the stories behind them. One lady whilst giving her reaction to them became so tearful that she could not speak about the reaction she was experiencing, in front of 20 other ladies at the meeting. She had been in the army and had served in Bosnia. A very emotional experience for all present. It was also the first time I had put all 3 together, as I had just finished the third that morning! I was personally stunned at how coherent they are, as separate, but also as one piece of work
I only intended to paint the first painting for personal reasons and for which I did actually research as well as talk to my husband who is an expert on the first world war. I think they are probably so strong because I have visited many sites over the years and have immersed myself in the history because of Tom! The second actually has a painting underneath which I started and hated as energies and something was overwhelmingly telling me to paint a tree. As I loved the hare silhouettes (that represent the german and british in the first painting) I put the british hare under the tree. When Tom came home he said “I see you have done another WWI painting?” “No”said I, “Yes “said he, and he then told me the story of the second battle of the war. As he did this I was really freaked out but also had a complete calmness come over me as I realised he was right. The tree wanted me to tell its story-this is below. Another artist I spoke to, told me then about channeling which is something that happens to some artists and is a recognised phenomena.”
The 3 paintings will be shown together to tell the story of these events in a different contemporary way and the reaction of people who have seen them has been amazing. Other artists and observers have commented on what strong pieces they are.
If you would be interested in exhibiting these paintings please contact me to discuss the opportunities. I will be painting more in the series as the commemoration events continue into 2018.