The Somme

Robert Perry has been working in the Somme Battlefields since 1992.   In an effort to pick up some of the fading “echoes through time” of the terrible events of 1916, Rob lived on the battlefields throughout January and February 2000, making studies, drawings and paintings from size A4 to 4ft x 8ft (1.2 x 2.4 metres) in places such as Aveluy or Mametz Woods, of the trench systems, emplacements and shell-craters, sometimes in daylight, but frequently, his subject matter eerily illuminated by paraffin lamps, deep in the night (the time of much clandestine and stealthy activity by the troops in 1916). Some of the field notes and photographs he made at the time are incorporated in the information panels that enhance and illuminate this exhibition. Family archive material including a beautiful seascape, painted three years before he was killed in the Battle of the Somme at the age of 19, by Billy Warren, Rob’s Great-Uncle, gives added human interest and explains his preoccupation with this war.

A committed Internationalist, Robert Perry is very well known in the area and is an Honorary Citizen of the town of Albert, epicentre of the great battles of1916.

This collection can be extended and augmented by numerous works from earlier expeditions, and, with (in 2014) the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, could be combined with its sister exhibition “VERDUN” to form an exhibition of major proportions.  The Exhibition also provides opportunities for collaborations with universities, schools, education departments, military historians and organisations such as local branches of the British Legion and The Western Front Association etc.

View video footage (Courtesy of BBC TV) ||