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Firemen Artists: 1940-45 Hardcover – 1 Jul 2013
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The men and women of the Firemen Artist Group were members of the Auxiliary Fire Service, braving danger during the Blitz in London, Coventry and Bath as Churchill's 'angels with grimy faces'. This lavish study sheds some light on this unfairly neglected aspect of the art of the Second World War. A comprehensive text follows the Group's evolution including exhibitions and a tour of the USA and Canada, and is complemented by reproductions of their powerfully authentic paintings and drawings.
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I feel a particular connection with the wartime artists illustrated in this book as I am now an active artist myself, and my most recent series of paintings depict my own personal experience of some incidents I took part in. At a recent exhibition I was struck by the emotional response these paintings provoked, just as I imagine the wartime paintings would have been received by audiences back then.
The author says he hopes this work will lead to a new exhibition of the wartime paintings. I very much support this aim. A few years back I saw some of the actual paintings at the London Fire Brigade Museum in Southwark and was struck by their dynamism and energy. These works of art deserve a much wider audience and I sincerely hope that this fabulous book will be the catalyst to make that happen.
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