Press Release

07 November 2014

As the country commemorates and stops to remember those who gave their lives during World War 1, Canterbury Christ Church University’s Sidney Cooper Gallery has produced a special and unique exhibition featuring photographs given to the gallery by local people, of their heroic ancestors.

The exhibition, Remembering, we Forget: Poets, Artists and the First World War, also depicts artists’ and poets’ responses to the realism of war through print, drawing, photography, film and collage.

Hazel Stone, Curator of the Sidney Cooper Gallery, said: “The strength of the show is the personal voices of the artists’ who were directly touched by the World War but also contemporary artists looking from a distance of 100 years.”

Earlier this year Sidney Cooper Gallery made an appeal to the local public to bring their First World War photographs to the gallery to be scanned and feature in a collage as part of the exhibition.

Over 200 photographs were brought in to the gallery by local residents whose relatives or family friends had fought in the war. Photographic Archivist at Canterbury Christ Church University, Nigel Breadman, gathered the images and listened to the stories behind them.

Hazel continued: “The contribution of the public photographs was overwhelming and highlights just how many local people who fought in the War will be remembered as part of the commemorations.”

The exhibition also displays an array of selected poems which marries together contemporary voices from the War, with the display of contemporary art.

Andrew Palmer, Principal Lecturer in Modern Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University, chose the poems featured in the exhibition. He said: “The exhibitions title, Remembering, we Forget, is a quotation by the soldier poet, Siegfried Sassoon. This really encapsulates the problem with all attempts to commemorate and remember the First World War which is that we can be so busy commemorating that we actually forget to remember.

“We have chosen a range of poems which do not simply express grief but that also engage with that difficulty of trying to get to the truth of why we are commemorating.”

Another unique feature in the exhibition remembers the bombing amongst a crowd of people in Tontine Street, Folkestone, on the evening of May 25, 1917. Framed are delicate drawings by artist Roy Eastland, of people who died or who were injured on the evening of the air raid.

Dr Karen Shepherdson, Principal Lecturer in Photography at the University will also display her work within the exhibition, Aftermath I & II, showing the devastation of nine young men’s faces after they were injured in the war alongside photographic work of the war memorial in Broadstairs.

Other works include responses inspired by visits to the battlefield site of Ypres and the Somme and prints by Dawn Cole in response to the diary of a VAD nurse in the War, bringing her words together to form a lace pattern.

The hard-hitting array of artwork will be exhibited between Tuesday, 11 November and Wednesday, 17 December 2014.

The gallery on St Peter’s Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BQ, is open Tuesday to Fridays, 10.30am to 5pm and Saturdays, 11.30am to 5pm.

Remembering, we Forget, is free and open to the public. To watch a video about the exhibition, click here. 

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:31:00