The current exhibition, Perspective, at the Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum is a fascinating response of artist Dr Susan McMinn to the museum’s archival collection.
Dr McMinn did her doctoral thesis on the horse in war and has maintained an interest in war as a subject as part of her art practice.When she started searching through the archival collection she imagined the people behind the objects.
“The narrative of the series relates the war back to the family,” Dr McMinn said.
She would then include a war object in a domestic still life, giving that object more potency.
In one particular watercolour still life, Dr McMinn has depicted a hand grenade standing next to a vase of flowers.
This contrast between the war and the domestic is enhanced by the position of display cases containing war memorabilia and the images which Dr McMinn has created.
She was particularly intrigued by the “trench art” which is in the collection.
Featured are butter and cheese knives which have been made from bullets and brass.
“I was very moved on the opening night when I was talking about the exhibition,” Dr McMinn said.
“I kept thinking of the soldiers who created the trench art, who wrote in the diaries and the families waiting at home.”
Perspective will run until July 28.
– Dianne Dempsey