Bawden, Edward (IWM interview)

Catalogue number
  • 4622
Production date
Alternative Names
  • object category: IWM interview


Object description

British official war artist with British Army in France, North Africa, Middle East and Italy, 1940-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background to becoming war artist: application to Kenneth Clark; meeting Edward Ardizzone. Period as war artist c1940-1945: period with Manchester Regt in Lille, France, visiting First World War cemeteries; drawings at court martial; problems with civilian appearance; drawings at Armentieres at time of Dunkirk, 1940; obtaining artist's materials; recollections of evacuation from Dunkirk; return to England; recollections of three burning cargo ships at Southampton; journey by ship to South Africa; journey by plane to Cairo; excitement at arrival in Africa; drawings at Cairo hospital; difficulties of drawing/painting in Egyptian heat; drawings of Sudan Defence Force, Khartoum; enjoyment of drawing Sudanese. REEL 2 Continues: contracting malaria; drawings in Gubba; journey to Ethiopia with Colonel Athhill's force; relationship between Ethiopians and Sudanese; recollections of Sudanese servant, Mohammed; coming across dead men and camel in desert; problems with chikka fleas; impressions of Addis Ababa; drawing Haile Selassie; contracting malaria for second time; drawings of Ethiopians; opinion of Ethiopian landscape; journey back to Egypt; journey into the Western Desert; drawings at the Siwa Oasis; drawing sunken ships at Tobruk and Benghazi; painting techniques. REEL 3 Continues: journey to Cape Town; recollections of ship being torpedoed off Lagos; drowning of Italian prisoners on board; period stranded aboard rescue boat; rescue by Vichy ship; conditions aboard Vichy ship; period in POW camp; relationship with French; conditions in the camp; liberation by Americans; return to England via America; return to Cairo; drawings in Baghdad; drawing Kurds in Kurdistan; impressions of Kurds; meeting Baghdad artists; journey by boat to Kut -Al-Imara; opinion of houses of Marsh Arabs. REEL 4 Continues: opinion of the food; drawing female soldiers; difficulties of drawing in the heat; drawing a variety of people; drawings on anti-locust expedition; wildlife in the area; freedom to choose subjects; return to England; difficulty of drawing wounded men in Southampton; visit to Italy; drawing Bechuana troops at Cesana; period with Partisans at Ravenna; problems of cold weather; recollections of William Coldstream; drawings of destruction of Florence; witnessing release Italians from internment camps, Udine; recollections of William Coldstream. REEL 5 Continues: drawing in Greece; recollections of Osbert Lancaster; socialising with fellow artists in Rome; attitude towards exhibitions of war art; attitude towards role as war artists; opinion of war artists scheme.

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