TWO artists – a Muslim and a Christian united by their abhorrence of war – have produced a series of strong images for the Two Artists, Two Wars exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery.
Mohsen Keiany’s paintings reflect the terrible human dimension of war. His pictures arise from his traumatic experiences as a conscripted boy soldier in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 to 1988.
The soldier’s separation from his family is emotively depicted.
The wounds he suffered and the horrific deaths of some of his schoolfriends and an old friend he called ‘grandfather’, have left an indelible impression on his consciousness, which is intensely evoked in his painting.
Robert Perry is more concerned with the locations of war. Over a period of 15 years, he has visited the sites of European battlefields and German concentration camps.
His response to these environments brings an atmosphere of lurking menace. We can sense the violence that has taken place in the past. There is a huge sense of loss.
In his Maginot Line series, he looks at overgrown and decaying Second World War defensive blockhouses.
He says he was attracted by their sculptural quality and the encroachment of trees and plants – ‘the stark contrast of their aggressive ugliness with the quiet beauty of their pastoral setting’.
There is a series of macabre drawings of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, including the notorious ovens. Robert Perry is also showing a large painting of the ruined church at Oradour, where 205 children and 240 women were murdered. The exhibition ends tomorrow.
Picturing the social order from 1516 to 2009 is a new major exhibition at Leeds City Art Gallery and includes loans from the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Working Class Movement Library and the Saatchi Gallery.
There are more than 100 works, with artists including Hogarth, Cruickshank and William Powell Frith. The show runs until April 26.
A YEAR in bloom, opening at Lupton Square Gallery at Honley next weekend, includes 12 linocuts of seasonal landscapes of flora and other work by Pauline Meade, along with paintings by Jean Parkinson, a long-standing member of Huddersfield Art Society.