Postcard from the Front: My Trench

The Battle of Loos took place in 1915, and was the largest British battle that year. It marked the first time that the British used poison gas. It was also the first mass engagement of the army raised by Lord Kitchener.

Real Photograph Postcards, first mailed in 1899, were a popular way to stay in touch with family and friends. You simply had your photograph taken and it was printed on a postcard which you could then send.

I thought about the people who had photographs taken when they were doing things that made them happy. The unhappy soldier in this painting has sent a postcard to his family to show them where his trench was and how he looked walking in it in the mud and the rain. Of course, there would never have been a Real Photograph Postcard of such a subject.

The left side of the painting is drawn from an aerial photograph taken in 1917 of the trenches of Loos-Hulloch. The right side of the painting is adapted from a photograph of officers wading through the water in a communications trench. The original photograph appears on several websites, but I was unable to locate the original source.

2015, Acrylic Ink on Paper, 14" x 11"

 

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Copyright © 2016 E. Clare Stewart