Exhibitions    Leaving For The Front-Artists Respond

23.04.15 to 10.05.15

Leaving For The Front Artists Respond to Dora Meeson's 1916 painting Leaving For The Front.


My work builds on the directional gaze so evident in Dora Meeson’s work and moves from the intimacy of Dora’s domestic scene to the next stage of farewell where those left behind watch in silence as the vessel leaves the harbour to begin the journey into unknown outcomes.

Past wars prove; deaths or severe and maiming injuries, mental stresses leading to altered personalities, memories which never fade by soldiers and innocents will occur, the only unknown will be the numbers. These fears are writ large on the faces of Dora Meeson’s protagonists.

In my work this apprehension is expressed by body language not facial expression, their gaze focuses on the leaving vessel. The stillness and pathos of the inevitable questions in the minds of those left behind is conveyed by stance, some isolated, others merge and overlap in support of each other.

The overlapping and layering of torn paper varying in quality, type and text together with ink, acrylic, pastel, charcoal and conte is used to create a disrupted imperfect surface where my people emerge transparent and fragile. The text creates a subtext echoing thoughts triggered by the coming war exposure.

The feelings of inadequacy of those left behind are the overwhelming sentiment expressed in Dora’s work. In my work I seek to trigger this response from the viewer.

Although overwhelmingly sombre in feel I employ some emotive colour to express feelings of hope where all is not lost.