'Poppy' – commissioned work

Lest We Forget – Acrylic and Oil 300cm x 230cm

Originally titled Poppy, this painting was commissioned for a feature film in 2003.

It took four months to complete and depicts 100s of soldiers’ faces from the Great War, each carefully drawn and painted in oils. Some are the Yorkshire and Lancashire PALs; others are war poets and artist. There are teenage boys with smiles on their faces, blissfully unaware of the horror that awaits. Others show the disfigured features of a lucky few who survived.

Many of the faces look so familiar, they could be your brother, your uncle or a friend. In re-titling the painting ‘Lest We Forget’, this is the point the artist is trying to make. Despite thousands of men laying down their lives for our freedom, no lessons seem to have been learned and pointless war still rages on.

The film centred on the debate around whether war is best depicted in terms of literature or visual art. This painting is shown in the final minutes, revealing the painting to have won the battle.