Remembering World War I through art at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
This year, 2015, marks the 101st anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition with work by contemporary art group re:collect and an artist in residence.
The artwork, which will be on the balcony during June 2015, explores the quote “The First Casualty of War is Truth”. This forms part of Shropshire’s programme of commemorative events, cultural activity and education to honour and remember the lives of those who served in and were affected by the war.
On one half of the balcony artists Andy McKeown and Maggie Love will be developing a participatory new media installation based on the 5,286 names on Shropshire’s Great War Roll of Honour. Visitors are invited to help create a visual and audio record of the roll by transcribing a single name to an individual hand-written Telegraph card and making a voice recording of that same person’s name. The completed cards will be placed below a continuous stream of names from the Roll of Honour.
The installation will also explore the impact of war conducted in an era of limited mass communication through period film, images and texts using contemporary digital new media.
On the other half of the balcony there is an exhibition by six artists from the re:collect group: Jacqui Dodds, Elizabeth Turner, Sue Challis, Jill Impey, Julie Edwards and Ann Kelcey. This exhibition attempts to break down some of the spin and propaganda around how the First World War I was and is still represented in the media. The art works aim to expose truths obscured by time, loss and misinformation and respond to the notion that “the first casualty of war is truth”.
Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member responsible for museums, commented:
“This is the second World War I themed exhibition to be held at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and forms part of the Museum’s exciting contemporary art programme. It is important for all of us to remember the sacrifice of so many Shropshire people in the war and subsequent conflicts. I look forward to seeing how the artists have interpreted the themes.”
The Balcony is open daily as part of a visit to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery between 10am and 5pm. The exhibition and artist in residence are funded by the Arts Council England West Midlands, Shropshire Council and supported by Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.
The exhibitions are open from Monday 1 June to Wednesday 1 July 2015 inclusive.