"a keyword" blog posts

Two Men and a Portrait

Posted on: 26 June 2020 | Category: 2020

A double portrait of the same man, a Far East prisoner of created by the same artist 1 year apart.

Two Portraits of Charlie Proctor, Changi 1942 & Thailand late 1943 By Gunner Ashley George Old, 1/5 Sherwood Foresters Regt. Pencil on paper Watercolour on paper © the Bartholomew Family I think this is one of the most arresting portraits in the exhibition, Secret Art of Survival - Creativity and ingenuity of British Far East prisoners of war, 1942 – 1945. It is a double portrait of the same man done by the same artist. It is a before and after portrait, something we are more familiar with today in a world of social media and photography. The portrait is of Private Ernest Charles Proctor, 1/5 Sherwood Foresters Regt, born in 1904 the oldest man in Old’s regiment at the time. It was drawn and painted by the artist, Gunner Ashley George Old. The pencil drawing on the left was done in 1942 during the first weeks of captivity in Changi POW camp in Singapore. The watercolour on the right was painted a year later in 1943 when both men were in the Chungkai Hospital camp in Thailand.


Time and Tide

Posted on: 19 June 2020 | Category: 2020

A box of  four engraved and carved scrimshaw whale bone and tusks

This week the object in focus is our small but important collection of Scrimshaw. Scrimshaw is the name given to a handmade craft created by sea faring men, usually whalers who carved and etched the teeth and bones of whales and other marine mammals. They are often very beautiful. The craft came out of the mariners having a lot of time on their hands while out at sea. Particularly whalers, waiting for a catch. It is thought the word “Scrimshaw” is derived from a mix of Scandinavian, Dutch and English slang for 'wasting time' or 'state of idleness'. Whaling voyages could last 3, 4 and sometimes 5 years and there would be long periods of time with nothing to do and so “scrimshandering” became a popular pastime which kept men occupied and out of trouble. Scrimshaw was most popular in the early 1800s when the whaling industry was at its peak; by the late 1800s this art form had almost died away.


I Predict a Riot

Posted on: 29 May 2020 | Category: 2020

Bronze sculpture of police figure with baton, shield and gas mask.

Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes …As a curator you’re often asked “what is your favourite item in the collection?”. It’s a bit like asking which is your favourite child, and can depend on your mood, time of day, when you last ate and how much trouble they’ve been recently. At the moment I’d say this bronze sculpture by the Liverpool-based artist Sean Rice. I’m a HUGE fan of his work. And it’s not just me. Riot Policeman, which is displayed on our staircase, is a big favourite with visitors despite (or maybe because) of its rather apocalyptic air.


My first blog post

Posted on: 7 January 2019 | Category: Blog

A candidate applying for a job

Hello World! This is my first blog post