South West Area National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies
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16 April 2015SW AREA SPECIAL INTEREST DAY 'On either side of No man's land : British and German Artists of the 1914 - 1918 War'
09 March 2015EXE DFAS DAY OF SPECIAL INTEREST 9th March 2015 'The Genius of Michelangelo'
03 March 2015KINGSBRIDGE DFAS STUDY DAY - Buckfast Abbey
27 November 2014WEST SOMERSET DFAS A Family Affair - Florence and the House of Medici
24 November 2014EXMOOR DFAS Special Interest Day "Bankrolling the Renaissance" - A History of the Medici Family
12 November 2014LISKEARD DFAS SPECIAL INTEREST DAY 'When England had hardly begun: Sutton Hoo, the Staffordshire Hoard and the Lindisfarne Gospels'
11 November 2014NEROCHE DFAS STUDY DAY - The Glories of Anglo-Saxon England
04 November 2014SOUTH DEVON SPECIAL INTEREST DAY (Plymouth) - Wine Related Antiques John Ericson
30 October 2014SW AREA SPECIAL INTEREST DAY Jewellery from Elizabeth 1st to Elizabeth Taylor TIVERTON HOTEL EX16 4DB

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SW AREA SPECIAL INTEREST DAY 'On either side of No man's land : British and German Artists of the 1914 - 1918 War'
Clare Ford-Wille

Clare Ford-Wille holds an honours degree in History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London. Regular commitments include Centre for Lifelong Learning, London University, National Gallery, V&A Museum, WEA, Morley College, the City Literary Institute, the Art Fund and National Trust. Study tours abroad.





Application forms are on this web-site - Click above on 'About Area' and then 'Documents'.

Applications close on April 10th

The Western Front of World War One was a short train journey away from central London. The British government took advantage of this by commissioning paintings based on scenes seen at first hand, from the leading artists of the day. They sent artists to cover other aspects of the war as well - on the home and diplomatic fronts.

The intention was to use these images for propaganda purposes, and also as a way of commemorating the war and the people caught up in it. Many of the artists fulfilled this brief admirably, some also taking the opportunity to examine the moral issues surrounding the war in the process.

Individual souvenirs and trophies of combat usually emerge from any war, but during World War 1 "soldier artwork" became its own art form, due to mass production of items by the vast numbers of the participants of the war.

Items were defined as "trench art" after a WW1 French newspaper competition awarded prizes in a competition for the most creative objects crafted from battlefield debris, by -
"the craftsmen of the trenches" or "artisanat de tranchées"

Found in many forms and sources: the Army, Navy, Submarines, Flying Corps, Auxiliary Services, Chinese Labour Corps., Rest Camps, Engineering Depots, Behind-the-Lines workshops, Prisoners-of-War, Wounded or Disabled Servicemen, Civilian artisans, French & Belgian cottage industries, Field Blacksmiths, and the jewellery trade. Commercial "Souvenir Workshops" also contributed, supplying demand from UK and foreign Stores for military memorabilia whilst in the United States, ammunition surpluses were mass-turned into commemorative items.

Individual and unique pieces were often crafted on a made-to-order basis for combatants to commemorate their war experience, maybe for a loved one or family member....or sometimes commissioned by the family as a memory item for a life sacrificed. Mass produced items were made for visiting battlefield pilgrims or tourists, also many designs fashioned well into the 1920's and the art noveau period. Genuine relics discovered to-day are around 100 years old, and have survived the trauma of previous decades when metals were highly sought-after for munitions or other industrial needs.


Come and experience some of the emotions expressed by those in the thick of it during the ghastly conflict and carnage of World War One. Venue: Buckfast Abbey Conference centre

Cost £35.00 to include three lectures sessions, tea and coffee  and a two course lunch.