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Still Waiting

  

You can see the full painting on the conscientious objectors button below - I am exploring images to show feelings : literally, the black dog of depression. These men were not allowed to talk or to write. Their only self expression was singing (in certain prisons) and smuggling of notes written on toilet paper and hid up the sleeve. 

Wirksworth Festival Art Trail, September 10 & 11 "MEN OF PEACE"show at The Old Lockup, 46 North End DE4 4FG

 

The WIRKSWORTH FESTIVAL IS HERE AGAIN:  over 150 artists in 65 venues all over Wirksworth. I am showing at no 30 on the trail map. (which costs £7 per person giving access to all art events). See www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk

This is called 'Must End Soon'. I saw a photo of men staggering out of the trenches, supporting each other; their eyes were dead, their clothes torn. They were worn out. I thought of the loved ones: mothers, sisters, children and wives, that had said goodbye not so long before.  I thought of buttons sewed on with fearful but loving hands, with the literal thread of peacetime lives stitched to their uniforms... I created this presentation with the words "Theatre of War" ringing in my head, filling me with horror.

 

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William Morris Duff:A Man of Peace

The rationale behind this picture is that personally I see a single man from whom I am descended - my great grandfather - representing a mass movement, a brotherhood of pacifists.  For each individual to follow his/her conscience is the starting point for change .  This inspires me.

This year is the centenary of compulsory conscription of soldiers to the 1st WORLD WAR. My ancestors refused to fight. It was a deeply felt personal decision : Killing another human being was wrong. I show the vociferous condemnation expressed in the press and propaganda posters.

 

 

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New work for MEN OF PEACE show

These new paintings portray three Conscientious Objectors. Through deeply held personal beliefs, they refused to fight or to do any work connected to war.  Two of them, Alfred Martell and Bert Brocklesby were imprisoned in Richmond Castle in a group known as 'The Richmond Sixteen'.Thanks to information and records from online sources, particularly the Imperial War Museum and research by historian Cyril Pearce, I have been able to draw on the spoken words, diaries/letters, graffiti of these prisoners. This has given me a rich resource from which to paint the personal struggles of these men against the overwhelming WW1 propaganda which urged every man to fight. To see more images, please click on the CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS button below

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'Ticking Over'

Using the idea of the Victorian Phrenology head as a base, I interpreted it from a Conscientious Objector's point of view.  Keeping the brain 'Ticking over' was extremely difficult and it took them all of a while to 'sharpen up' after release, according to verbatim accounts.  Here i have made a sculptured head in which the brain is slowing down: the cogs are not connecting and the mechanism is in crises. The painting on the right is a projection of the qualities exhibited by the Conscientious Objector.

Conscience Caged

The practice of giving a white feather to someone who is not fighting or wearing uniform, was to shame them. It said to the recipient, "You are a Coward". The white dove of peace also has white feathers, so this has a double meaning.

 

I was moved by accounts of women left behind by C.O.s and the struggles they had, compounded by the sending to them of white feathers.  The aim was to shame them into forcing their loved ones to sign up.  This woman's head is based on a

diagram of a phrenology head.  It is called "Feathers can be Arrows too"

 

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Devoted

This is my great grandfather and grandmother. They were Pacifists,Socialists and early "Anarchists". Their two sons were conscientious objectors. One of them, my grandfather, suffered from such cruel treatment in prison that he died at the age of 32. To see the full picture, go to "Honouring the Ancestors" section.

Inspired by slate carvings

I am inspired by 18th century carvings, folk art ,history and people. Slate has been a popular medium for people's self expression: albeit doodles on a slate bridge, graffiti on a gravestone...to see more, click on the button below  INSPIRED BY SLATE CARVINGS

"ARTEOLOGY" exhibition

Arteology is when Art meets Archeology.  This is a section of our arteology show "Fragments of the Past: What you can find out from small things". It celebrated the discovery of artefacts from a Victorian Town Dump exposed when boatmens' sheds were demolished in 2012.  It took 2 years to create the exhibition, held in Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. Such was the success that it has been preserved with the aim to become a travelling show.  To see more pictures , please click on ARTEOLOGY. 

FRAGMENTS OF THE PAST

What do all these objects have in common? They were found on the shore of Gallows Point, a promontory at the mouth of the Menai Straits in Beaumaris, Anglesey  and they all are over 100 years old

Read more: FRAGMENTS OF THE PAST