A new exhibition at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. ‘The Great War: Personal Reponses by Cheshire Artists Network’ runs from 2 August to 12 October.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “The events of 1914-18 are defined by incredible losses and unimaginable destruction and suffering. The Great War was one of the largest and deadliest conflicts in human history, claiming the lives of over 16 million people across the globe. Its consequences have shaped our modern society and continue to have a profound effect on world history.” Artist Sandra Christie, who co-ordinated the exhibition on behalf of Cheshire Artists Network (CAN), said: “Members of CAN have produced work in a range of media which represent personal responses to the Great War, seen through collective recollection, documentary accounts, and family histories.
Even though the subject matter cannot help but be emotional, and is often personal through the involvement of ancestors and their loved ones, the clouding of memories will increasingly be a threat. The artists hope to slow that process by means of their work, and in this way pay their respects to those who paid the price of our freedom.” Councillor Stuart Parker said: “The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is of enormous historic importance, and it is fitting that the Grosvenor Museum should mark it with such an imaginative, thought-provoking, and emotionally engaging exhibition.”
Cheshire Artists Network (CAN) is an organisation of more than fifty professional visual artists who live and work in Cheshire. It exhibits art across the community, supports the organisation of Cheshire Open Studios, and runs community and education workshops. Funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England has enabled CAN to present a programme of touring exhibitions commemorating the Great War. The programme of accompanying family events includes:
- 31 July, Make a First World War Toy
- 5 August, Medals and Meanings
- 7 August, Sundial Time
- 14 August, White Feathers
- 16 August, Oh What a Lovely War!
- 20 August, Thinking of You
- 26 August, Mabel’s War
There is also a programme of adult events:
- 2 August, A Soldier’s Cemetery: Tracing your Great War Ancestor
- 13 August & 17 September, Some Corner of a Foreign Field: The Poetry of the Great War
- 1 September, The Great War: Exhibition Tour
- 6 September, Interpreting the Light and the Dark: Drawing Workshop
- 16 September, ‘From Tonks to Today: One Hundred Years of drawing Medicine and Conflict’ lecture
- 27 September, Interpretation through Paper: Paper Craft Workshop
- 1 October, ‘The Art of War’ lecture
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday – Saturday 10.30-5 and Sunday 1-4, admission free.