THE ART of war will be highlighted in a new exhibition at Compton Verney.
Created in Conflict, running from March 17 to June 10, will feature artworks made by soldiers from the 19th century to the present day.
The exhibition, marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, will not only explore the subject of soldier art, but also shine a light on life behind the battle lines, by the people who were there.
Exhibits will include an exquisite tiny matchbox house; detailed quilts that reveal how making was often an act of both practical and emotional survival; an oil painting depicting a recuperating soldier during the Crimea, as well as toys produced by convalescing soldiers.
The exhibition will also feature creative collaborations between today’s veterans and contemporary artists.
Those at war have long used art as one way of staying in touch with home and sharing at least part of the experience of battle with loved ones.
Art made by military personnel could also be used for propaganda purposes, and the exhibition considers the unsettling effects of objects which can have the power to make us accept a ‘just cause’ or question the motives of war.
Curator Professor Holly Furneaux has brought together more than 50 exhibits spanning 200 years of artistic work produced by, and in relation to, the British Armed Forces.
They aim to challenge preconceptions about war and behaviour during times of conflict with pieces that reveal creativity, humour and the importance of domesticity, as well as experiences of wounding, death and loss.
Professor Furneaux said: “With Created in Conflict, I wanted to present an unexpected dimension of experience and skills, and blur the lines between amateur and professional artistry – using a mixture of work by trained and untrained artists.
“To achieve this, we engaged with serving military and veterans and worked with them to shape the exhibition and accompanying activities.”
Visit www.comptonverney.org.uk for further details.