Award-winning artist, Lucy Pittaway visited the museum to take a look at our current special exhibition, Created in Conflict.
Lucy, who, over the last decade has built her passion into a thriving business with four galleries; one of them in Richmond, was particularly interested in the work created by soldiers who had spent long years as Prisoners of War (POW).
Notebooks, entitled ‘A Wartime Log’ were included in Red Cross parcels sent to POW. Many soldiers used the precious blank pages to sketch and paint, either developing their artistic skills or embarking on a new hobby to pass the time in captivity, creating a scrapbook style record of their experiences. Several of these logs, filled with artistic content, are on display in the exhibition.
“My creativity has always stemmed from being in a positive or happy place, so I’m in awe of those men who managed to produce such a variety of artistic output under the most trying of circumstances. I’m not sure I would have been able to tap into my creative flow in their situation,” says Lucy, pictured, viewing official war artist Christopher Nevinson’s ‘Rain and Mud after the Battle’, on loan to us from Sheffield Museum’s Trust.
“It’s interesting to imagine what was inspiring them to create such a wealth of cartoons, watercolours, portraits and sketches. It was interesting to learn how they occupied themselves with drawing and painting classes and history of art lessons, taught by other soldiers with the knowledge and skill to share their love of art with others. There’s so much creative content on display in this exhibition, it’s a fascinating take on what you might normally imagine to be held in a military museum’s collection.”
Created in Conflict runs until 23 December and then from 11 February to 31 March 2023.