Korean War not quite forgotten in Canary Wharf art trail

by Philip Gowman on 3 November, 2016

in 1945-1960, Exhibition news, Military, Sculpture and Installation art

Imjin River

As we approach Remembrance Sunday, the walkways and open spaces of Canary Wharf have been adorned with works by artist Mark Humphrey in what is described as

the UK’s first Remembrance Art Trail, in association with the Royal British Legion and constructed with the help of the Corps of Royal Engineers, consists of seven art installations. Each piece has a different focus within the wider theme of military experience, aiming to encourage personal reflection and contemplation.

One of the works is Lost Soldiers – a work about healing, remembering and forgiveness. The artist provides the following notes about the work (pdf download):

LOST SOLDIERS
MOD army pickets made to look old and from various battles
Each with original helmets on top from conflicts all over the world 1914 to present day
Each picket has a date and battle or war stenciled on it
The one with barbed wire represents the unknown and future next battle
The wood chippings on the floor represent the battlefield terrains
The heads inside the tool kit are of the Unknown Soldier as seen in Brothers in Arms and Lost
Armies
Chessboard and chess pieces represent politicians and leaders
1 black cracked head for defeated and 1 white perfect head for the victory
Cracked black head mental health, white perfect for healing
Helmets, from all sides, nations and wars look down like a theatre show
Amphitheatre rings view the game
Mine field signs show the danger of war

Two of the pickets commemorate battles in the Korean War: the battle of the Imjin River, which is etched on the consciousness of British soldiers, and Heartbreak Ridge, known (on the UN side) for its American and French casualties.

The installation is in place until 13 November.

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