The art of artillery: A Brush With the Guns at London's Firepower Royal Artillery Museum

By Culture24 Staff | 15 June 2010
a drawing showing a cratered and gun shattered road

Exhibition: A Brush With the Guns, Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum, London, until December 31 2010

A new exhibition exploring how art documents conflict has opened at The Royal Artillery Museum in the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

A Brush With The Guns comprises 50 artworks, including pieces by contemporary artists and items from the Museum's own extensive art collection, many of which are going on display for the first time.

Spanning more than 200 years, they range from pencil and watercolour to oils, appearing on a variety of media from canvas and paper to sketchpads, diaries and notebooks.

Contemporary works include pieces by noted artists Matthew Cook (Times War Artist in Iraq, 2003) and Annabelle Elford, whose son served as a Royal Artillery Gunner in Afghanistan in 2008.

a pastel showing a gun crew firing a gun in the desert

(Above) © Annabelle Elford

The photos Elford's son brought back from the front line inspired her to create a series of works of art which are being displayed at the Museum for the first time.

"Art and war are not commonly connected in the public's mind," says curator Mark Smith. "Yet the artist's representation of war has given us some of the greatest ever works of art.

"War art can be thought-provoking, repulsive, magnificent, mundane and inspiring, but all are expressions of the artist's attempt to express an emotion or to ensure that a moment is captured and not lost."

Visit the Firepower blog for all the latest updates about the exhibition and accompanying events.

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