Rebuilding - an exhibition
Sandham Memorial Chapel is delighted to host another exhibition of art created by veterans working with the charity Combat Stress in this, it's centenary year. Established in the aftermath of the First World War, Combat Stress are proud to say that over the last 100 years the organisation has not only transformed but saved the lives of tens of thousands of veterans.
Wednesday 5 to Sunday 23 June
Wednesday - Friday 11am-4pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm
Standard entry charges apply.
In 1919, people were trying to get back to ‘normal’ life again as much as possible after four years of conflict. This echoes the experience of current veterans who have been psychologically injured through military service, who then begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Art-making is a way that some veterans find meaning and purpose, or diversion away from memories of harrowing, past experiences. This exhibition is a celebration of human resilience and determination to reclaim life, as it will showcase veteran art created as part of recovery from trauma.
Head of Two Men
I attended the Intensive Therapy Programme (ITP) at Tyrwhitt House, Surrey in January 2017 as I was suffering from PTSD and depression. I painted a portrait of myself (on the left) in between the therapy sessions as a way of cooling off. There are several layers of paint underneath the final image as my view of myself changed during my therapy. I feel that my suffering is evident in the image I created. When I reflect on this painting, I can see how ill I was when I attended the programme.
In June 2018 I decided to complete another portrait of myself. Once I finished it, I realised how different my reflection was and understood why the first painting might have caused unease for those closest to me.
I have kept the two paintings together to show the distance that I have travelled, and to remind myself of how different I am as a result of my treatment with Combat Stress.
A Mind's Eye
My painting is of a true reflection and of a reflecting gaze, be that a positive thought or an unfortunate symptom of PTSD – rumination. My painting was inspired by a photograph I took of my wife on her birthday this year. I found it apt that I should see my ‘safe place’ within the gaze of my wife mixed with the reflection in her sun glasses. I have tried to incorporate colours and textures that I have been associated with in the past and now associate through Chakra Balancing.
This piece was created as a vision to my future self inner peace and tranquillity against the storm that is PTSD.