student in the lab

Reflecting on war through art

Posted: 14th November 2018

Throughout the course of this term, boys in Year 4 to 8 have explored reasons and ways in which artists have responded to war throughout history, producing a varied range of practical responses which show different and creative interpretations of the theme ‘war’.

Using imagery from our archives, Year 4s have produced charming and playful wire portraits of some of our old boys and teachers who lost their life to conflict. 3D figures that mimic soldiers in action have been produced by Year 5s to commemorate servicemen, having researched imagery from the battlefield.

In Year 6, boys have turned symbols associated with war into digital motifs and patterns, creating decorative imagery that reinterpret the objects’ negative connotations. Collages and digital paintings have been developed drawing inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement and Pop Art, with very different and personal interpretations.

Rusty objects that one might find in the battlefield have been used to dye fabric, which the Year 7s have assembled together through a range of textiles processes. Each panel remembers an old boy or teacher of DPL who lost their life. The boys’ involvement with ‘their’ soldier’s story has been moving.

Year 8s ready-made boxes, resembling soldiers’ kits, explore different aspects of life during the war, such as medicine, communication, inventions, home life, comfort packages, landscape, trenches, food on the frontline, commemorations and transport. The variety and individuality of the boys’ work speak volumes about their creativity, resourcefulness and problem solving skills.

Other departments and sections of the school have contributed to this exhibition, highlighting the importance of remembering our history and learning from it.

Additional personal responses to the topic ‘War’ have been produced independently by Luke, Jolyon and Raaghav. Well done to Luke for his imaginative photographic series showing his grandmother’s gas mask from WW2, Jolyon for his striking lino print of Delville Wood on the Somme and Raaghav for a moving documentary of his neighbour (see the link below), who kindly shares her experiences of what life was like during WW2 with us.


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