A Wood In France – Artwork

Our artist and former Royal Marine Richard Rochester writes: – Asked to create a piece of art to accompany ‘Journey Through Conflict – From Then Until Now’, I wanted to produce something that would work both as a stage backdrop to the performance and as an artwork in its own right.  So I am aiming to create something with a personal dimension that is immersive, contemplative and quietly powerful throughout all 8 meters of its width! For inspiration I re-visited the work of artist, writer and soldier, David Jones who was wounded at Mametz Wood during the Battle of the Somme (one of nearly 4,000 British casualties there). 102 years to the day after the battle, I followed Jones’s path through the wood and contemplated his experiences there. The resultant artwork ‘A Wood in France’ is being created using earth and charcoal from the site; it will depict the wood as it is today – a tangle of trees and undergrowth – a haunting space still echoing the events that took place there in 1916.