‘A Graphic War‘ is an exciting display of sculptures by artist Ian Kirkpatrick, which explore the aesthetic and cultural significance of graphic design of the First World War.
Kirkpatrick’s works draw upon familiar imagery and subject matter from the front line as well as the home front, with a particular emphasis on the experience of war in Leeds. The pieces are all inspired by artefacts, which were explored during his Leverhulme Trust funded residency with Leeds Museums and Galleries.
The whole concept of bringing the seven pieces of artwork from the ‘A Graphic War’ collection to The National Archives all started when we visited ‘The First World War: Commemoration and Memory’ conference at Imperial War Museums North. Here, we saw the impressive figure of ‘Blast’, which had been installed at the conference by Ian Kirkpatrick, and Lucy Moore, curator at Leeds Museum and Galleries.
With such strong links to Leeds, and with the First World War 100 programme well underway, we began to wonder if it would be possible to bring the local to the national. Could these works be displayed in our unique space and be tied to our collections through the artist’s interpretation? Could the messages portrayed around disability, the roles of women in war, and Leeds manufacturing and its losses during the war still be relevant when the sculptures were displayed at The National Archives? Continue reading »