Wednesday, 23 August 2017

“Quilters will surely be fascinated by the stunningly beautiful quilt and cushion that my lovely friend (Clare Boomer) has made to support ‘PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide’ - a cause that sadly touches so many people. Clare has explained how anyone can support her endeavours. (Regrettably, only UK entries are possible.) Please consider doing so. (Ann Somerset Miles)

Here's Clare's story behind the making of this very special quilt and accompanying cushion:



Seven months and a new sewing machine later….

I’m delighted to say I’ve finished my quilt and a second prize cushion and am now ready to start the Big Quilt Raffle!
I hope you’ll support me in my bid to raise £1000 for @Papyrus prevention of young suicide.
Tickets cost £2 each, and the draw will take place on 8 December, 2017.
It’s really easy to buy raffle tickets online. Just visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/PurpleQuilt and follow the instructions. You can also learn more about what motivated me to raise money for this fantastic charity.
Alternatively you can buy tickets from me in person or, if you’re in the Banbury area, you can buy them from Sharlyn Interiors in Bloxham (@Sharlyn Interiors) and GTS Sewing Machines (@gts sewing machines ltd) in Mewburn Rd, Banbury.
Many thanks to @Bethan Dennick for the great photos!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

BDEG Migration


For readers of my 'Inspirational Sparks' blog who have not yet come across what was a personally owned blog with an entity of its own ('Stitching Matters') or the reason for its migration: we are a group of dedicated mixed-media stitchers (affiliated to the Embroiderers' Guild) and all passionate about stitch, within both traditional and modern textile art. Some of our members are highly experienced, professional stitchers, others are exploring various techniques for the first time. All are welcome. Details of where we meet can be found at the end of this post.

Members are particularly supportive in providing short accounts of meetings and workshops. Even though we are a small rural branch (covering a wide area), the our speakers and tutors cover a wide range of topics, which encompass a great variety of techniques.


On 16th March, 2017, Maria Boyle entranced us with her talk on 'Lichen - Exporing Colour'. Maria was formerly a member of our group when we were Cherwell Valley Embroiderers Guild but left when she felt the urge to study for degrees and obtain honours initially at our local college and then later at De Montfort university. By her own admission she is obsessed with colours and textures. 



She uses a mixture of hand sewing, knitting, dyeing and painting to make the most fabulous lengths of cloth with wonderfully sensual textures. She explained that she uses an embellisher now in preference to hand embellishing, which she’d also done in the past and found to be time consuming and tedious. Maria is part Swedish and showed us work she had created with inspiration from forests she used to visit in Northern Sweden. We were entertained with a nice Power Point presentation and there was friendly collaboration with the technology to get things organised and running smoothly. An event much enjoyed by all of us there.  Written by Veronica Purdey.





All of us were totally absorbed by new techniques

Written by Hannah Thompson: "I have heard it said that to grow you must put yourself outside of your comfort zone – I and several others did just that on March 25th when the very knowledgeable and infinitely patient Lorna Bateman came to Broughton to teach her amazing techniques to form interesting insects in 3D form.  She brought with her a very tempting range of kits, threads, beads and needles which naturally we couldn’t resist.  More importantly, she patiently instructed and helped all of us achieve some very life like insects, using what I would call ‘correct and proper’ embroidery techniques.   I am a mostly self-taught embroiderer who tends to work in a very free style so using a hoop with extremely taught fabric was all new to me.  I now know why the screw on my hoop has a slot for a screwdriver and that the tension (of my thread) is far less consistent and often as high as the tension in the rest of my body – another lesson there I feel.  But the hints, tips and tricks I learnt that day will remain with me along with a true appreciation of fine embroidery and stump work.  
A huge thanks to Lorna my embroidery will be better and neater from now on – I promise!"



Speaker Lynda Monk (Centre) with BDEG Chair Ann Lowe (right) and
Margaret Slorach (left) who organised the 
evening
Lynda Monk gave a very instructive and lively talk on her very varied techniques of melted fabric ‘Creative Surfaces’. To a layman the effect was very similar to leather and was used for making book covers, to a very tiny bodice that would have been worn many centuries ago. She used fabrics such as Polyester velvet and Kunin felt as her base fabrics and with the help of Bondaweb, Tyvek and Foils she created fabulous works of art with walnut ink and or acrylic paints, Brusho, silk paints or Procian dyes to embellish the surfaces. Then blast with heat from an iron or heat gun to melt away the fabric to reveal textured effects.


Just like leather
Lynda has written a number of books, the first being 'Stitching the Textured Surface' in collaboration with Carol McFee in 2008, followed by 'Fabulous Surfaces' which concentrated on the use of dress-makers' tissue paper found in patterns from Charity shops. Then 'Exploring Creative Surfaces' in 2012 using cotton scrim and Tyvek to create three dimensional designs. Her latest book 'Beautiful Bonded Surfaces' is coming out in May 2017. The talk was even more enlivened by us all being given an A4 sheet of paper: Lynda instructed us how to fold it into a very handy little photo holder, or "Granny's Boasting Book". She had some lovely examples of these made from an A3 sheet of her work.


Having a marvellous time.
We ended the talk by Lynda inviting us all to have a go at making our own surfaces using her pre- cut and very efficiently planned mini workshop using black Kunin Felt and Tyvek pre- inked with procian Dye. Bonded with an iron with the foil and Bondaweb sandwiched in between, we all created our own surfaces! Needless to say many of us signed up for Lynda's workshop with us on 10th. June, this summer. It should be a very exciting day. Written by Deborah Horn.


We meet at St Mary’s Church Hall, Wykham Lane, Broughton, Banbury, OX15 5DT (Wykham Lane is 3 miles west of Banbury, just off the B4035 Shipston Road. Suffice it to say, this blog is the one I (Ann Somerset Miles) write professionally on behalf of many organisations. It too is owned by me. Although I am still a member of  BDEG (Banbury & District Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild), I am no longer a part of the Committee, but support the Branch, and the Guild in general.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Exploring memories of Shakespeare

Not only does Water Street Gallery hold regular exhibitions,
it is a treasure trove for gifts that will appeal to many
who love creative work. (Image courtesy WSG.)
How privileged I am to have some of my work shown in a prestigious location, and even mentioned on the owners' website. I wrote a little about the pre-exhibition process in my last post and since then, apart from attending the preview evening have been away from home. Visiting Water Street Gallery in Todmorden, West Yorkshire is a magical experience and there is much else to discovers, besides my show-within-a-show. 

Checking part of my display before the preview evening
(image courtesy Mike Holcroft)
But hurry, as the whole exhibition is only open until Sunday 6th November. (Click on the link to enter the Gallery website). 

Explaining some of the techniques used to create the Shakespeare pieces 
(image courtesy Mike Holcroft)
Although I live far to the south of Todmorden, there's an excellent train service which took me to within a five minute walk of the Gallery. Without that, I would not have been able to be there for the preview. And how magnificently my work had been displayed.

These pieces in fact took me way outside my usual comfort zone - very different to the little zig-zag fabric books I had displayed at previous exhibitions at the Gallery. My thoughts on how I could interpret Shakespeare were accepted by owner Rosemary Holcroft. Then I had to decide how I would actually create them! All A4 in size, the first, "I know a bank" is quite differently created to the others - experimental in fact. I didn't know what I was doing! The background was a recent technique I had learned at a summer school in Oxford, collaging images using diluted pva glue on tissue paper - I am developing this idea for further new work. There are pasted paper napkin images (the roses top left) and as for the bank - it was a photo taken at an RHS Flower Show  at Tatton Park a few years ago of an imaginary garden. The whole piece took far too long to create; I realised I had to streamline the processes.

So by the second panel, I had determined that I would have to 'up my game' and devise a method that made them easier to display in their frames.  Nothing had been planned - only my long-time favourite Shakespeare quotes had been decided. Though there is a huge significance about this one, for Twelfth Night was the first Shakespeare play I came across at school (Leeds Girls High School in the 1950s). How to interpret it? The willow background is a photo taken, because I had nothing suitable, of a weeping willow opposite our house on a Cotswold village green on the day of stitching. The leaf spray is pressed and fused to fabric - advance thinking that it might come in handy.  The willow cabin is a woven willow structure at a local school three miles away. My husband (RQ) and most of his family from the long distant past attended there, as did our daughter, and now three of our grandchildren. And RQ's ashes are scattered in the little Quaker Peace Garden in which the willow 'cabin' is situated. And stranger still, I have just returned from a few days exploring the north Yorkshire dales where I unexpectedly discovered the village where at Guide Camp (around 1953) I declaimed "make me a willow cabin" - in private, practising for my practical entrance exam to college and theatre school! Such a small world. 

For the next panel, I wanted to put Shakespeare in context and also desired some colour - a child's book cover gave the perfect feel of the Globe Theatre and reminded me of childhood days constructing models from cardboard boxes and disgusting 'secotine' glue - made from fish bones I think! To complement the middle panel, I used a scan of fabric I had created some years ago - an image of willow bark; enlarged,  printed and fused to muslin.

But there is further method in my madness: why waste what lies behind all my five central panels? So once they were stitched in place (on calico, using a machine button-hole stitch), I cut the backgrounds away, and have them stashed in my remnants box, ready for using in other work. Much easier than cut-and-stitch and more accurate.

Panel Four, "The Running Brooks" is quite different. The play, 'As You Like It', is set in the Forest of Arden and is closest to what Shakespeare would have known as a child and young man. The forest stretched from Stratford upon Avon right across the central swathe of middle England - and is close to where I now live. There are still pockets of woodland - magnificent oaks. For the central panel, I used a paper napkin that included deer (as poached by WS, probably from Charlecote Park). The frame is a photo image of part of a large tree (actually ash, not oak) taken in a local ancient wood. I use what is to hand, recycling wherever possible. In fact, I also audition many photos, ephemera, fibres and backgrounds before determining what I will use.

My camera and iPhone are my constant companions, constantly in use wherever I am, taking anything that might be useful for future creativity, and particularly 'texture' shots.

The explanation of my final panel depicts the ending of 'The Tempest. It may seem strange but all came together in my celebration of times past and future. It depicts the closing speech where Prospero announces he will "drown his book". I remember a magnificent performance a long while ago at the theatre in Stratford, with Paul Schofield playing Prospero. And I recall many plays by WS where the scene was set overseas ... a scene from the film 'Shakespeare in Love' sprang to mind which ends with the actress (Gwynneth Paltrow) walking over a wide sandy shore. One assumes she drowned; it was all somewhat fanciful, as is my interpretation of Prospero's final speech! I just knew I needed the feeling of  a cave and sea storm.

Out came all my images taken in around 2012 not far from Douarnenez in northern France. RQ and I were exploring in our motorhome. He was already not well, and I decided to walk along the beach, leaving him to sleep. In the distance were cliffs, with what appeared to be a cleft in the rock. Could it be a cave? Two miles of walking, and yes it was. And oh, the colour of the rock (as if I had struck photographic gold) where there had been cliff falls. I've used a close-up to frame the central panel. It started to rain - quite a storm in fact - and I suddenly realised the tide was coming in and I could be cut off! Not exactly panic. How useful that wherever I travel, I take photos - often just of texture; but still always in the back of my mind is the feeling of theatricality, and that I am not exactly back in childhood, but revelling in words and images. It might of course explain why I live in a house so full of potential material, that all I can often see is clutter! 

If you like the story behind the creation of what for me is a new genre, go to Water Street Gallery before November 6th, and see these pieces at close quarters. They are for sale by the way, as are replicas of each. Indeed, apart from Shakespeare - a very small part of the much larger exhibition 'A Face to the World', you can do much of your Christmas Shopping in the Gallery Shop.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

My work on show

Water Street Gallery owner, Rosemary Holcroft (left) and me
on a former occasion when my work was being exhibited
I am so excited - my five A4 paper-collage stitched 'Shakespeare' panels are bing exhibited this month at Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, West Yorkshire. It's not the first time I have been invited to participate. From my little fabric zig-zag books, adorned with my own word-whispers and photographic images, to 'The Dream Coat' which was pure theatre - and the last time my beloved husband 'RQ' (Raymond) was seen alive in public. He dressed particularly smartly for the occasion and somehow managed to drive from our home an hour north of Oxford to the Gallery. I was supposed to be the driver but had been up all night completing the coat! The last time I exhibited at Water Street was not long after RQs demise - the subject 'pushing up daisies' focussed on death and dying. I was not phased: put on my professional hat, and start creating. As it coincided with my recovery from cancer, I had no shortage of material. 

Guess which Shakespeare play this represents? (In my mind, at least)
This time, my exhibits are under control - actually completed and submitted ahead of schedule! I even have a little time to create some stitched cards to take when I go to visit. I cannot show the panels pre-launch, but developed techniques that were totally new to me. How could I not love the added theatricality of this subject? Something that was instilled in me in my school days, though I must promise my sister that I will not spout poetry, as I used to do in the open spaces on the Yorkshire Moors when I was at high school in Leeds. I will leave readers to guess which play the image above relates to.

I can at least let my friends and acquaintances know about the exhibition as I have this lunchtime received a press release from the Gallery; there are lots more exhibits and an erudite explanation of 'A Face to the World'. Mine: 'Shakespeare - the Man and his World' is described at the end of the release and is has it's own special slot. Such a thrill for me. I am now exploring other new techniques for another body of work, just in case I am invited to participate again. If you find this difficult to read (I had to convert it), please email me at annsomersetmiles@me.com and I will email it to you as a pdf file.



Saturday, 13 August 2016

Creativity on a roll


My Broughton Castle 'paper' cushion
It has been such a busy summer - not ended yet, of course - and I have been trialling many new techniques. Not always successfully! Making an illustrative cushion panel out of paper for the ‘Capability Brown’ project (exhibited at Broughton Castle amongst many others executed by skilled needlewomen) was not the most sensible idea. I wanted to hurl it into the moat! I will remove the paper panel and mount it in a frame. The background was created from four ‘dragonfly’ paper napkins, symbolic of those skimming over the waterlilies at the castle.

Have zig-zags had
their day?
Recently, have felt the urge to move on from the inevitable textile-and-paper zig-zag booklets I have been constructing for at least ten years. Exhibiting in my new studio/workroom at ‘Warwickshire Open Studios’ gave me the perfect opportunity to take stock. 

new freeform method







Between visitors - who were extremely complimentary about my display (thank you to anyone reading this who left such lovely written comments) - I and had time to experiment. A couple of new ways to use teabags pleased me and will be incorporated into new work. 

A totally new trial - flower
sketch needs attention
Using teabags is a complete thrill - the house is filled with bins of them. I love the way different brands of tea and ways of drying them affect the finished result, though I do get some strange looks when friends call and find wet bags laid out on radiators to dry.

A poor attempt: manageable with arthritic wrists and hands
Next in new experimental work was the excellent Bookbinding Course at Oxford Summer school. I will be forever grateful to tutor, Janina Maher, for her kindness, help and encouragement, for I was not at all well during the four days and would have been better staying at home in bed. I sadly also came to realise that my hands are now insufficiently strong for bookbinding. What I did complete was poor in execution and I am ashamed of it.


Very proud of this!
Fortunately, however, I had previously attended Janina’s ‘Vibrant Papers’ two days workshop in the Spring - a fascinating technique for producing papers that can be used in a number of ways. This I can manage, though I have to admit to ‘doing my own thing’ initially, though I did branch out on the second day and work on what I should have been doing! 


In progress: my 'tree of life'.



Acquiring new skills and techniques has been critical to me this year, moving me forward from the personal traumas of 2014 and 2015 which have necessitated a total lifestyle change. One-day classes tutored by Anne Kelley at The Fibreworks in Chipping Norton (only 5 miles away) have been a revelation and become a lifeline, soothing my soul. Most apposite was a day creating ‘A Tree of Life’ (work not yet completed).

If you love textiles - and the natural world - obtain a copy of this
remarkable book. (Click the link at the end of this post to buy a copy.)
This latest class, just a month ago, coincided with the publication by Batsford of Anne’s new book: ’TEXTILE NATURE’. A book to covet and drool over. Nature in so many forms, whetting your appetite for engaging nature. Those fortunate to actually experience Anne’s calm and gifted approach will already be aware of how her suggested approaches to creating new pieces in many formats are paramount, giving the student, or reader, freedom to adopt whatever approach best suits their chosen topic. 

Anne's 'Wildflower Book Box' - superb, and
quite 
different. (This took me back to 
childhood days collecting wild flowers, 
then teaching young pupils in the 
mid-60s to love natural history.)
‘Textile Nature’ provides the basis for creativity, using the natural world as a catalyst; bringing the outside into your indoor workspace. Copious examples are given, not only of Anne’s beautiful and very varied work, but also of many contributors, both professional and amateur. 

Anne's 'English Country Ducks' - a stitched textile 
that speaks so eloquently of the countryside. 
Click this link to purchase a copy. And as I have, read it cover to cover. You'll find it hard to put down.





Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Time does not stand still ...

A beautiful ceramic poppy created by Whichford Pottery
I look at all my blogs - and cannot believe that it is eighteen months since I posted on most of them - though the last Inspirational Sparks offering was one of particular significance; even more so now as we approach commemorations for the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Indeed, that particular post, in November 2014, gave readers helpful hints on creating the sort of book-art that features regularly in my work. Instructional as well as informative. So, on Saturday 2nd July, I and two of my children (and maybe some grandchildren) will be gathering to remember my father-in-law who was badly wounded on the Somme, but survived. How fortunate we are as a family to have that direct link to the past. Though WAB never spoke of the horrors until just before he died.

Taken when my potager was in it's heyday - self-seeded herbs which I still
encourage. My new Veg Plot / Flower Patch is will one day be as beautiful.
And now to update readers on preparations for Warwickshire Open Studios: the link will take you to my gallery page on the WOS website (hover over each image to reveal the caption). I'm frantically making artefacts to sell - simple things that will not cost the earth. I'll be demonstrating in my studio some of the techniques I frequently use, with the caravan available for tea, coffee, cake and biscuits. If the weather is fit, there's an acre of wild garden to wander in: my inspiration for so much of what I do. Anyone is welcome: it's totally free.

The map is visible beneath the napkin, using a technique
that evolved after much experimentation.
And do take a look at my other Blog: Ann's Art Retreats, which outlines the Warwickshire Open Studio event, and my participation. Those who know me well realise why my blogging and other work lapsed over the last couple of years. But now, with the kind help and support of family and so many friends and acquaintances, I have re-invented myself: a new lease of life. And I will be demonstrating how to layer paper napkins  over maps, with stitch to enhance the finished 'pages'. That, and the use of tea-bags! Such joy to be creating again, and to be devising so many tutorials to offer potential students. Time indeed does not stand still.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Lest We Forget .....



One of the many fabric poppies I have collected for still-life photography
On Tuesday, I wrote about the excitement I felt at again being asked to create four new exhibition pieces which are currently on show (and for sale) at The Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, West Yorkshire. (Click the link which will take you to ‘my’ page on the Gallery website.) I wrote about experimentation and the method I had used to create one of the 13.8x11.8cm fabrications. Similar techniques can result in quite different pieces, as occurred (deliberately) with my WWI ‘Lest We Forget’. This in fact was a re-jig of a piece made for a Summer ‘WWI’ Showcase in Shropshire. More on that at the end of this post.

Ideas for my mixed-media creations appear sometimes out of nowhere. It may be a fabric flower (as the one above), or a paper napkin; a map, or page from an old book; a photograph taken for quite another purpose, or memorabilia collected on my travels. And what better day to demonstrate how such ephemera can be brought together than in remembrance of loved ones.

This map appears in both finished pieces in this post, digitally-manipulated
to a square and rectangular finished page size
Here’s how ‘Lest We Forget’ came together: First I located the map I and my husband (RQ) followed many years ago when we went in search of the area of France where his father was injured in 1916. I scanned it - if you don’t have a scanner, lay it flat and photograph it. I manipulate to the size I need using Photoshop Elements; I remove size-constraints so that a rectangular image can become square, or any proportion - without it becoming unrecognisable. All my base images - whether scans or photographs are printed onto Daler-Rowney 45gsm (31lb) Layout Paper - I buy A4 pads online (numerous sources) and print on an Epson WF-2540 Series inkjet printer. The beauty of this printer is that it uses ink which becomes waterproof when dry - perfect if you want to glaze with acrylic wax or gel medium, as was needed for this piece. The base image is then fused using Bondaweb to whatever fabric I decide will be most appropriate for the piece - usually calico or cheesecloth. (Tip: Protect you work surface, cover with an old folded cotton sheet and then a large piece of baking parchment.) Lay the printed map blank side up and onto it lay a piece of fusible web; iron into place. When cool, peel away the backing and lay the fused map onto the fabric - image side up of course. Cover with baking parchment to protect the map and iron into place. I always make my base slightly oversize so that it can be trimmed for the final stage. Watch that you do not let the fusible glue touch the iron or any other surface or you could well spoil future creations. Replace baking-parchment frequently.)

Experimental application of paper napkin to demo transparency once
the acrylic wax has dried, plus bits of ephemera, stitch etc
Using Paper Napkins: Now you can let your hair down, with this topic particularly as there are dozens of poppy designs from which to select one to suit your message. Ensure you use a napkin of 3-ply construction. For ‘Lest We Forget’ I selected a bold design so that it would dominate but was in fact sufficiently transparent that the map would still be visible. Gently separate the three layers (keeping the bottom two for other projects). Audition the position, thinking of the ephemera you will have already decided to use - in this case, you don’t want to cover a vital part of the poppy. Lay the upper napkin layer over the map, positioning it as you wish, and gently and sparingly apply Acrylic Wax to the surface, (the brand that works best is obtainable from ArtVanGo - download pdf by clicking link, and scroll to page 49, under 'Finishes'). Use a soft filbert brush if you have one, working from the centre outwards and paying particular attention to the edges - do not cut away the surplus.  The napkin will wrinkle initially - but you will have a lovely tactile, textured surface once it is dry. Rough cut away the spare napkin at this stage. (Tip: Immediately wash brush in warm, soppy water or the bristles will set solid!)

A layered arrangement that has
been used in more than 
one piece 
Ephemera: Now’s the time for the memorabilia you have assembled or created. ‘Lest We Forget’ utilised an item I had created first for a travel journal many years ago, adapted for another WWI piece this summer, and reprised here (the poppy cross). It began as a semi-transparent vellum scrapbook page over which I layered a T-shaped business card presented to all visitors staying at the Ibis Hotel, Calais! Digitally photographed and re-sized for my travel journal page, I pondered on how to incorporate it, for I no longer had the original. Answer - first scan travel journal page, then working from a copy, alter size and proportion in Photoshop; add text as a ‘layer’. (Tip: never work from an original, be it photo or artwork; always make a copy and then you can use, re-use and adapt many times.) For digital text panels, I typed within a box (within ‘Pages’ though you could use ‘Word’, utilising the box-tint facility. These three ephemera elements were sized and brought together in one document, printed on layout paper, fused into position on the poppy-map background and machine-stitched for emphasis.

Currently on show (and for sale) at the Water Street Gallery, Todmorden
‘Lest We Forget’ was almost complete. It merely required trimming to size and edge stitched for neatness, before inserting inside the CD-case that was the remit for the Water Street Gallery exhibition.

Collage created from iPhone images of our TV screen during the
Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, London, 09.11.2014
It seemed fitting that I published this post today (late as it is), on Remembrance Sunday, having watched the ceremony at the Cenotaph. Fitting for many reasons, not least that I believe all art, textiles and mixed-media work tell a story, are in essence ‘theatre’, and none more so than the pageantry observed today. We excel at pageantry and I reflected not only upon what I watched on TV but all the stage-managing that would have been involved, the logistics of transporting and seating all those veterans and dignitaries, with the serving Royals being in the right place at the correct time. Clapping for Her Majesty as the service of dedication ended (never before at such an event), was a poignant moment for she had had the courage to participate even after terrorist threats. 

Inside folds of my double-sided 'Pity of War' triptych
But I digress: both of my recent war pieces have been made as a dedication to my father-in-law, who was severely wounded at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme in 1916. That he survived was due to four years of painstaking surgery - his right arm had been shot away and was hanging from just one tendon. He was a woodcarver and begged to have his arm saved or he would lose his livelihood. RQ (his son, and my husband) recalls the story his father told him many years later. Sitting in a shell hole with a young German soldier, they conversed and exchanged signet rings; each determined to make contact after the war. They were able to communicate as father-in-law spoke German - skilled artisans then moved freely around Europe from one assignment to another. Sadly the German lad died before reaching the field hospital. Interesting that there was camaraderie even amongst opposite ‘sides’. (And how fortunate that he survived, as his story is part of the project upon which his  great-grand-daughter is currently working.) I named the piece above - a double-sided triptych - ‘The Pity of War’. World War One was meant to be the war to end all wars. It didn’t; there is still conflict and a desire to kill other human beings almost everywhere around the globe. And for why?