New exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery examines The Art of Weaponry
A new exhibition “The Art of Weaponry” opens at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery’s Community Gallery on Wednesday 6 May 2015. It celebrates the long tradition of art applied to weapons of war, and how the form and decorative patterns used by artisans over the centuries have inspired the work of Shropshire sculptor and designer Ivan Williams.
“When I look and handle tools and weapons, I am always extremely impressed with the visual beauty, the shape, fit and function, and the time and skill it has taken.
“The Renaissance period employed the greatest artists and artisans of the time to design surface decoration on many fine weapons and armour; everything from helmets to cannons. Engraving and inlay work, already taken to a high level on crossbows, was applied to armour and firearms throughout their development.”
Ivan Williams has created a remarkable piece called War Dog which features a suit of armour to protect a canine warrior.
“I had just completed a commission for a dog carving with beaten armour so I decided to do one for myself. Previously I had repaired many pieces of armour and studied all I could find on prior art. The Royal Armouries at Leeds had been very helpful to me. One of the processes used was etching steel and I used acid, as traditionally used.”
Louise Cross, service manager in Shropshire Council’s visitor economy team, said:
“It’s been a privilege for the Museum & Art Gallery team to work with someone as distinguished as Ivan Williams, and to exhibit his work alongside some superb items of weaponry from the Shropshire collections. I am sure the exhibition will be very popular with our visitors.”
The exhibition features a combination of two items from the work of Ivan Williams and a small selection of original objects chosen from the collections of Shropshire Museums and The Shropshire Regimental Museum. These include a 17th century sword, various pieces of armour and other weapons. It will be open from 6 May until 5 July in the Community Gallery.