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Painting by Graham Sutherland depicting ruined buildings with a slight abstract appearance in sombre greens, greys and black.

Witnesses to War | The Home Front: Devastation and Production

11am - 1pm

From: £20

[ Art History Course )

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the VE Day, join Dr Gill Clarke MBE to learn more about artists’ depictions of not only the front line, but also life at home both during and in the aftermath of the Second World War.

War art encompasses far more than battle scenes. This short course focuses on the British war art scheme and the role of the War Artists’ Advisory Committee from 1939-45 in selecting some of the leading artists of day to record the war in all its aspects for posterity. In addition, we will also look at art made by both distinguished and lesser known artists outside of the scheme including those who were conscientious objectors, providing a rich and complex picture of the realities and consequences of modern war.

This session explores the role of the War Artists’ Advisory Committee; chaired by Sir Kenneth Clark its members sought to match artist to subject matter. We will look at Graham Sutherland’s vivid depictions of the devastation of streets and buildings gutted by fire following German bombing raids in London’s East End and his recording of iron and steel manufacture in South Wales and tin mining in Cornwall.

We will also explore John Piper’s evocative portrayal of bombed buildings  together with Henry Moore’s distinctive shelter drawings. The vital role of women as workers and as war artists is revealed through the work of Evelyn Dunbar, Ethel Gabain, Laura Knight and others.

Single session £30 [under 30s, £20)

Full course of 3 sessions £80 [under 30s, £50)

All art course sessions include a short break during which tea, coffee and pastries will be served.

Dr Gill Clarke MBE was Visiting Professor and Curator at the Otter Gallery, University of Chichester from 2012-18. She has published widely on 20th century British Art, and most recently Conflicting Views: Pacifist Artists. Other books include Shorelines: Artists on the South Coast; Evelyn Dunbar: War and Country; The Bishop Otter Art Collection: A Celebration and edited The Diaries of Randolph Schwabe: British Art 1930-48, which he kept while Head of the Slade School of Art. She has contributed to publications on British artists including ‘Gluck: A Life in Art’, which appears in Gluck: Art and Identity. In addition she has guest curated at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington and most recently in 2016 at Pallant House Gallery (for the exhibition of the Bishop Otter Art Collection).