Bishop Grosseteste University is part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums (IWM) and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.
The project being led by BGU invites serving and former members of the British Armed Forces who were deployed to Afghanistan to group art therapy workshops. In these sessions, veterans will explore what ‘home’ meant to them whilst serving in operating bases in Afghanistan and what it means to them now.
A professional artist will be commissioned to work alongside the project team to create artwork that draws inspiration from the veterans’ experiences. Combined with the veterans’ art, the commissioned artwork will form part of a major new contemporary art exhibition that will explore the personal stories of the conflict in Afghanistan.
As part of our wider research project, the team would also like to speak to any serving or former members of the British Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan and are interested in sharing their experiences of operating bases. Photographs and testimonies will be of particular interest.
If you are interested in taking part in the project, please contact Dr Derwin Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building on over 100 years of contemporary art commissioning by IWM, this new initiative continues the vision and reach of 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary, and has been made possible thanks to the success of Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed film They Shall Not Grow Old, co-commissioned by IWM and 14-18 NOW. A share of the film’s royalties – £2.5 million – will see investment in artists and arts experiences as IWM partners with 20 cultural organisations and 22 artists from across the UK. The fully funded commissions will each be inspired by the heritage of conflict.
Dr Derwin Gregory, Programme Leader for Archaeology and Heritage of BGU, says: “I am excited to be working with serving and former members of the British Armed Forces, in partnership with IWM, to create a major contemporary art exhibition that will allow veterans the opportunity to share their stories of life within operating bases in Afghanistan”.
Diane Lees, Director-General of IWM, says: “IWM is delighted to be working in close partnership with such a breadth of UK organisations on this ambitious programme of art commissioning. After a challenging couple of years for the arts sector, we hope that the unprecedented opportunities enabled by the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund will kick-start cultural dialogue as we recover from the wide-reaching impacts of COVID-19”.
The IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commissions will go on public display across the UK between 2022 and 2024. For further information about the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, please visit the IWM website.