Archive | 21:44

Homage To Women Veterans.

11 Nov

Block print with chine colle: WW2 W.R.E.N.


A couple of years ago, my dear friend and neighbout died. She was in her ’90’s and was a veteran of World War Two, leaving her quiet village in West Wales to enlist in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, the W.R.E.Ns. After a posting to the Isle of Man, she was stationed in Swansea where, as a despatch rider, she learned how to strip and reassemble a motorbike on her kitchen table and ride her bike through the potholed city enduring night after night of bombing throughout the Blitz. An injury became seriously infected and she nearly died, but returned to duty as soon as she was on her feet.

British women of that generation threw their collective weight into the war effort, joining the Forces, becoming farmers, riveters, engineers, factory workers. Leaving their previous domestic lives behind them, they not only helped to defeat the Third Reich, they forged a new world for their daughters and granddaughters. They were feminists before feminism and sometimes I wonder if we realise how much we owe them.

I developed this block print after my friend died, as an homage to her and her generation. It was developed from a photograph of her as a young W.R.E.N and cut into polycarbonate foamboard. I printed a small edition onto Zercoll 145gsm paper using black litho/relief ink. I used a red hand-made Indian paper as chine colle for the poppy .

I don’t advocate war, but sometimes people have to step up and act out of duty for a wider good and that’s what her generation did. It’s now over seventy years since the War began and most of the veterans are dead. I miss them, their stoicism, their duty and their committment to making the future a better place.

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