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Artworks bring First World War to life

Landrecies 25th August 1914, 1915 by William Barnes Wollen

Landrecies 25th August 1914, 1915 by William Barnes Wollen

STUNNING artworks will hope to bring the reality of the First World War to life as part of a university lecture series.

As part of 100th anniversary commemorations, Sunderland University will uncover a series of works which were inspired by the conflict.

Millions were killed or injured during fighting for their country during the 1914-1918 war and school trips by Wearside schools are still taking place on a regular basis to the battlefields in Belgium and France.

The works of many soldiers including the literature, poetry and the politics of the war is still shown on television and taught in education at a variety of levels.

The third 2014 Community Lecture at the university will look at life in the military and on the home front using popular illustrations of the time.

There will also be a focus on the context of the war as to why so many volunteered and how the crisis was viewed during the late Edwardian era.

Sharon Vincent, tutor for Sunderland Women’s Centre and the Workers’ Educational Association, will be delivering the first lecture – “The Great War Through the Eyes of the War Artists”, on Wednesday (JUNE 25).

It will include looking at the work of artists, illustrators and cartoonists from the era.

Sharon said: “It isn’t meant to be a definitive guide to war art, but a look at life in the military and on the home front using popular illustrations of the time. It will cover a diverse range of subjects relevant to the First World War and highlight some of the issues faced by civilians and service personnel alike.

“Each work depicts an incident that occurred within the context of the war and helps 21st century people relate to the 1914-1918 experience by bringing it down to a personal level.

“Perhaps we cannot understand today why so many men volunteered in their thousands to participate in the conflict and maybe these images will give us an insight into how the late Edwardians viewed the crisis.

“I have always loved horses and it was finding some old postcards of army horses that sparked my interest.

“I wanted to know more about why horses had been sent to France and the men who worked alongside them.

“I am now passionate about researching local war memorials and would encourage every community to uncover the human stories behind these long overlooked names.”

The community lectures, which will take place until August, feature a variety of topics and will all take place at the University’s Sir Tom Cowie building at St Peter’s Campus. The free lectures start at 2.30pm and last about one hour. For more information email events@sunderland.ac.uk, or call 515 3169.

The 2014 Community Lecture Series includes:

25 June – Sharon Vincent – The Great War Through the Eyes of the War Artists

16 July – Maureen Martin – Durham Cathedral

30 July – John Tumman – Some stories from Sunderland’s past

13 August – John Derry – 1914: Unreal expectations and flawed strategies

 

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