During February, Guildford House Gallery is showing specially selected work from the prestigious touring exhibition Caught in the Crossfire, which explores how artists have responded to the brutality of war, and to the desire for peace and reconciliation.
Jointly curated by independent curator Nicola Gauld and the award-winning Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, Caught in the Crossfire draws on private collections, and on the important collections of The Herbert, which were developed in response to Coventry’s experience of aerial bombardment during the Second World War and its role in peace and reconciliation.
The exhibition explores how artists have responded to the experiences of people, communities and countries suffering the brutality of war and conflict but also striving for peace, reconciliation and friendship. It takes us on a challenging journey from the home front to the frontline and back again, as seen through the eyes of artists, soldiers and people affected by conflict.
The exhibition includes work from internationally renowned artists (including official war artists John Keane and Peter Howson, and street artist Banksy) working in varied media.
Provocative, subversive, moving, inspiring are all words that may be applied to Caught in the Crossfire. Nicola Gauld describes it as an exhibition which “aims to make people confront and contemplate the often brutal imagery of conflict and the terrible destruction it can cause, but to also show that art can be used for protest, and that ultimately the aftermath can be peaceful, former enemies can begin to live alongside one another, and reconciliation is possible.
The exhibition is not an attempt to discuss one particular conflict, neither does it try to discuss all conflicts, but it is an exploration of the ways artists respond to particular events around them, at particular points in history, and to explore some fundamental issues – the impact of war at home, abroad, upon soldier and civilian, the presence of voices of resistance and dissent, and the potential for reconciliation.
Artists featured in the exhibition at Guildford House are Conrad Atkinson, Banksy, Barnbrook Design, Blek Le Rat, Ian Berry, Thomas Galler, Peter Howson, Al Johnson, John Keane, Peter Kennard, kennardphillipps, Simon Norfolk, Michael Peel, Jamal Penjweny.
After opening in Coventry, Caught in the Crossfire travelled to Dresden in Germany and now comes to Guildford.
The exhibition is on display at:
Guildford House – 155 High Street, Guildford
31 January to 28 February 2015, 11am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday
In addition to the Caught in the Crossfire Exhibition, we will be hosting an illustrated talk; Caught in the Crossfire: a curator’s perspective by Nicola Gauld.
Saturday 14 February 2.30 – 3.30pm
Guildhall, High Street, Guildford GU1 3AA
Tickets £3: available from Guildford Museum, Guildford House Craft Shop; or by telephoning 01483 444751; [email protected]
From a press release by Guildford Council.
Image: Peter Kennard