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Faces of Conflict Exhibition - RAMM, Exeter

17th January to 5th April, 2015

I was privileged to be invited by Paddy, to the preview of this exhibition and I was so pleased I went because it was a very moving experience. Paddy's dedication to detail was amazing and has to be seen to really appreciate the intricate embroidery on Walter's uniform. Paddy's research that led to this art work of Walter Yeo can be viewed here, and it is incredible the amount of thought that went into this project. Paddy has embraced Walter's character through his acquired knowledge, even including a crossword made of the navy signalling flags which can be used to learn about Walter's family. Walter was a keen crossword compiler for newspapers in his later years so it was so appropriate. In the centre of the model he has even carefully embroidered Walter's family tree

The impact of the First World War on art and facial reconstructive surgery

 
   

An exploration of the influence on artists and surgeons of the facial injuries suffered during the First World War. The exhibition brings together collections of historical objects and artworks from the last hundred years, including works by the artist Wyndham Lewis and specially commissioned works by the 1914FACES2014 artist in residence Paddy Hartley .

The unprecedented numbers of facial injuries in 1914-18 led to both innovations in surgical practice and to a permanently changed understanding of the face. Just as artistic practice fed into surgical practice (through sculptors working as mask-makers), so the radically new forms of surgery developed at this time changed the context in which artists represented the face.

The exhibition looks at the unique historical situation of the facially injured soldiers of the First World War, the complex question of their reintegration into society and the long-term cultural legacy of that situation.

The exhibition features historical artefacts and archives associated with Sir Harold Gillies' pioneering surgical work at the Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, which are on loan from the Royal College of Surgeons and the British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. They are connected to artworks created during and immediately after the First World War (by Wyndham Lewis and George Grosz) and to contemporary work by René Apallec , Eleanor Crook and Paddy Hartley .

 

 

Working in partnership with the University of Exeter

The exhibition arises from the EU INTERREG IV-funded project 1914FACES2014, led by Prof Bernard Devauchelle (Institut Faire Faces) and Prof David Houston Jones (University of Exeter). Paddy Hartley is the 1914FACES2014 artist in residence at the University of Exeter.

The university team consists of Professor Jones, Associate Professor of French Literature and Visual Culture, Cristina Burke-Trees, Curator/Project Co-ordinator, Marjorie Gehrhardt, Associate
Research Fellow in French and Suzanne Steele, literary advisor'

 

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