A hundred years after the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a new exhibition exploring the impact of the conflict on the landscape and people of Wiltshire.
The exhibition “Cicatrix… the scar of a healed wound” brings together six contemporary artists from the South West, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The exhibition includes installation, drawing, painting, printmaking and film responding to the unique landscape and history of Salisbury Plain. While the Plain has been used by the military since 1896, the landscape has a special association with the First World War, when thousands of local soldiers took part in manoeuvres and training in Wiltshire.
Curator Sophie Cummings said: “We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition. Artists Prudence Maltby, Susan Francis and Henny Burnett work in the South West and have a special association with the area.
“For this exhibition, they are joined by Commonwealth artists Caro Williams (New Zealand), Catherine Farish (Canada) and Sophie Cape (Australia). Together, they offer a unique perspective on Wiltshire and on the First World War. We hope visitors will be challenged, informed and inspired by the contemporary art on display.”
Cicatrix is part of a series of exhibitions, workshops and talks at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The six artists of Cicatrix have each selected pieces from the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art that offer resonance with their own interests and practice. This mini exhibition, Art and Conflict, will also be displayed in the art gallery.
It will include Augustus John’s important First World War drawing, Canadian Soldiers, as well as works by Claude Francis Barry and Graham Sutherland.
Leader of the Council, Councillor David Renard, said: “We are in the final year of our commemorations, remembering the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War.
“These exhibitions from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery explores the impact of the war from an artist’s point of view and are a fitting tribute to those who gave their lives during the conflict.”
The two exhibitions open to the public today. Further information on the talks and workshops can be found on the museum’s website – www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk