Thursday, 29 December 2011

Progress December 2011

I have now added two more rows of poetry to the painting. So I have made a photograph to show how it is coming along. Now I have added some of the broken trees of 'No mans land' the scene seems to be coming together as i wanted it.

Close up of 'Warhorse' painting showing destroyed landscape.
Painting in December 29th 2011
Detail of the Warhorse

Warrior - 'The Horse the Germans could not kill'

I have recently started to read a fantastic book called 'The Amazing Sotry of a Real Warhorse' General Jack Seely. It gives a fantastic insight into the important and close relationship between a horse and its owner.

There is also a website:

The book describes the life and adventures of 'Warrior' the horse that took part in the First World War and survived. What I have found particularly insightful is how the book describes the personality of the horse and the close bonds they form with each other and people.

General Jack Seely and Warrior, painted by Sir Alfred Munnings in 1918

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

In Times of Peace
by John Agard
That finger - index to be exact -
so used to a trigger's warmth
how will it begin to deal with skin
that threatens only to embrace?
Those feet, so at home in heavy boots
and stepping over bodies -
how will they cope with a bubble bath
when foam is all there is for ambush?
And what of hearts in times of peace?
Will war-worn hearts grow sluggish
like Valentine roses wilting
without the adrenalin of a bullet's blood-rush?
When the dust of peace has settled on a nation,
how will human arms handle the death of weapons?
And what of ears, are ears so tuned to sirens
that the closing of wings causes a tremor?
As for eyes, are eyes ready for the soft dance
of a butterfly's bootless invasion?

One of the poems included in the painting on the top half of the painting.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Now working on the top of the paintnig.

Back again! The bottom half of the painting has now been done using world war one poems and I have moved to the top half where I am using words from contemporary poets. The very bottom row took an especailly long time because I have made that row both part of the overall picture and a 'read-able' text. So from one side of the painting to the other the viewer will be able to read a poem.

The Painting - showing the bottom half painted using World War One Poetry.

Here you can see the very bottom row and a hint of how the text can be 'read' across the painting.

The top half of the painting as I mentioned will use contemporary poems about today's conflicts. Once again these are written by the people who have experienced war and have been affected by war. It is interesting to see the similarities and differences in the poetry. These poems include -

Listen by Gillian Clarke, War on Terror by Fred D'Aguiar, Untidiness by Amanda Dalton, Big Ask by Carol Ann Duffy (In memory of Adrian Mitchell), The Grassington Mandala by Ian Duhig,  Landlock by Matthew Hollis, Descent by Alan Jenkins, Inquiry by Carola Luther, After the Stealth Bomber by Robert Minhinnick (Umm Ghada at the Amiriya Bunker), Afghanistan by Paul Muldoon, Have I Got Old News For You by Daljit Nagra, Of Course If I Can Help in Any Way by Sean O'Brien, Battle Lines by Carole Satyamurti, St Brides by Jo Shapcott, It could have been by Clare Shaw, Poppies by Jane Weir.