Wednesday 19 June 2019

Artists have played a central part in IWM’s hundred year history, and have a powerful role to play in conversations around conflict. Their unique way of communicating helps challenge and deepen our understanding, and illuminates issues that can be difficult to talk about. The material, sensory experience and impact of war continue to be compelling subjects for all sorts of artists.

IWM worked with six Royal Academicians to reveal how the IWM collections influence and impact their work. Looking at diverse objects from aircraft to sound trumpets, and themes such as imprisonment, surveillance, terrorism and the nuclear threat of the 1960s, the resultant films demonstrate the breadth and vitality of the collection and the wide-ranging fascination it holds for artists working today.

Art And Design, War In The Air

Parallel Lives: Richard Deacon

Art And Design, War In The Air

Parallel Lives: Richard Deacon

Royal Academician and sculptor Richard Deacon is fascinated by the material, fabrication and surface of objects. Behind the scenes in his studio, he considers the tactile and distinctive qualities of old, seemingly unrelated, possessions and how they inform his artistic practice. By extension, he explores the landscape and collection at IWM Duxford focusing on his longstanding affiliation with airfields and aircraft.
Richard Deacon RA
Richard Deacon RA © David Parry
Art And Design, First World War

Parallel Lives: Jane and Louise Wilson

Art And Design, First World War

Parallel Lives: Jane and Louise Wilson

Jane and Louise Wilson, artist duo and Royal Academicians, discuss how a German First World War aerial camera from IWM’s collection provided inspiration for their award-winning video installation, Undead Sun.
Jane and Louise Wilson RA
Jane and Louise Wilson RA © Nina Sologubenko
Art And Design, First World War

Parallel Lives: Conrad Shawcross

Art And Design, First World War

Parallel Lives: Conrad Shawcross

Royal Academician and sculptor Conrad Shawcross explores the relationship between form and function in his look at the IWM collections that have inspired his work. Here, he invites us to look at historic sound locators as fascinating sculptural objects as well as functional relics.
Conrad Shawcross RA
Art And Design, Contemporary conflict

Parallel Lives: Tim Shaw

Art And Design, Contemporary conflict

Parallel Lives: Tim Shaw

Royal Academician Tim Shaw reflects on the relationship between his art and IWM’s collection, and the enduring influence of war and conflict on his work.
Tim Shaw RA
Art And Design, Second World War

Parallel Lives: Rebecca Salter

Art And Design, Second World War

Parallel Lives: Rebecca Salter

Artist Rebecca Salter, Royal Academician and Keeper of the Royal Academy, examines some of the most powerful Second World War drawings in the IWM collection. She considers the vital human pursuit of drawing in the face of extreme conflict situations.
Rebecca Salter RA
Rebecca Salter RA © Cat Garcia

IWM and the Royal Academy have had a long association. For the first three years of its life, IWM was scattered in offices and stores across London, and relied on temporary exhibition venues, including the Royal Academy, to display its collections. Many artists appointed to officially record the World Wars went on gain Royal Academician status, due in part to their significant contributions to our cultural memory of conflict.

This project, with Art Fund support, forms part of RA250 UK: Exhibitions and events around the UK to celebrate 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Art at IWM

Three officers stand to the left of the composition beside a pile of ammunition boxes. Each looks in a different direction. One has his back to the viewer and looks out over the scene of the painting. There are marionette-like figures moving over broken ground, amongst the huts and shattered trees. Streams of stylised smoke erupts from incoming shells and spreads across the sky.
Percy Wyndham Lewis, ‘A Battery Shelled’ (1919).
First World War
10 incredible paintings from the Hall of Remembrance series
A remarkable group of paintings was commissioned by the British government towards the end of the First World War as a memorial to the dead. They wanted to permanently display the paintings in a bespoke memorial gallery, known as the Hall of Remembrance, but this ambitious plan was never realised.
A series of figures, with only their heads and shoulders visible, are gathered together at a dockside with a warship recently returned from the Falklands looming over them in the background. There is a coffin covered with a British Union Jack flag amongst them, juxtaposed with the hands of some of the figures making victory signs. In the centre, a soldier and a woman kiss and embrace after being reunited. They are surrounded by the heads of eight other people.
With Singing Hearts and Throaty Roarings, 1983, by Jock McFadyen. © The artist.
Art And Design
8 Powerful Works From Our Contemporary Art Collection
Since the mid 1970s IWM has collected and commissioned contemporary artists' personal, political and conceptual responses to conflict. This has resulted in a diverse and challenging collection of artwork, the highlights of which are brought together in a new book, Art from Contemporary Conflict.
An unnaturally bright sun blazes over a landscape with a river. There is an aircraft flying over the desert in the lower right of the composition.
Art.IWM ART 4623
Art and Design
IWM's exceptional Art collection is one of the most important representations of twentieth century British art in the world

RA 250 and Art Fund logos

This project, with Art Fund support, forms part of RA250 UK: Exhibitions and events around the UK to celebrate 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts. roy.ac/RA250UK