Friday, 31 August 2012

Armed Forces Art Society Summer Show

I should say 'shows' because for the first time this year we are running a contemporary show - Out of Line - alongside our regular one in the Mall Galleries.  Everyone who uses the new Threadneedle Space is meant to put only really contemporary work in there.  We in AFAS have risen to the challenge (others, sadly, have failed) so I am really proud of our members, many of whom have worked well outside their normal zone to produce interesting and thought-provoking work. Katie Tunn, John Ashton and I have curated the new show.  It has consumed vast amounts of time and energy but we feel that it has been worth it.  It has expanded our range of media, styles and subject matter and encouraged our younger members to pursue their own artistic goals rather than 'fitting in'' with the perceived club requirements.

We had to plan the new show more carefully than our regular show, so that members did not waste time on concepts that were not going to be accepted.  We wanted a very spare look to the show and you can see that in this photo, which shows my mini-installation 'Figure Eleven' as well as John Ashton's 'Khe San Approach and Richard Salter's 'Tree of my Conscience'.

My piece has earned the epithet 'Tim's Tomb' and as it took me 25 working hours to make it certainly buried everything else.  It is a C4th limestone tomb lid with Victorian cast brass 'knight in repose' mounted in place of the original carved Ogham script (C4th Irish).  The face is that of the classic Figure 11 Target - used by armed forces worldwide.  I think I have posted more details elsewhere.
My favourite piece is probably Anna Poole's 'bleeding boot' video  actually called Footprint of War, with a soundtrack of Queen that we can't play because of performing rights issues.  I like it better with no sound actually.

It starts quite innocently like this:

There is blood everywhere at the end.

Katie's 'Fin' series is also very interesting as she is better known for her 'beautiful boys' but is now concentrating on marine conservation issues:

John's 'Khe San' is the most popular of all the Out of Line pieces - and at 16 feet high the largest!

In the next post I will include some pictures of the regular show.  Both finish tomorrow at 4pm.

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