S T Y L E F O R S O L D I E R S
‘ART IN THE AFTERMATH’
22nd - 26th July 2019
In support of the Sheffield Invictus UK Trials 2019 15 Barkers Pool, Sheffield, S1 2HB
3D Virtual Exhibition Tour produced by V21 Artspace.
Style for Soldiers was founded 10 years ago by menswear designer Emma Willis MBE in response to the severe casualties returning from Afghanistan in the height of the violent conflict. Struck by the challenge these young men and women would now face post medical discharge from the military, having suffered life changing physical and emotional injuries, Emma started visiting Headley Court Military hospital every two months for 8 years to make complimentary clothing to help with self esteem and confidence. The charity also provides Bespoke Regimental Walk- ing sticks which have been sponsored by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. She has built a database of over 750 injured service personnel who the charity continues to support with clothing for interviews, new jobs and important occasions, hosting the largest reunion parties held in the country, attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2016, including a family day at Woburn Safari Park donated each year by The Duke of Bedford. Ambassadors of the charity include Charles Dance, David Gandy and Telegraph Fashion Director Lisa Armstrong.
Humanitarian photographer Giles Duley talks of the impact of Style for Soldiers
Through regular contact with the rehabilitating servicemen and women Emma has met several who have turned instinctively to art and poetry to help with the psychological healing process, resulting in last November’s well attended ‘Art in the Aftermath’ exhibition at La Galleria, London, showcasing art, poetry and film created by former servicemen suffering from PTSD or brain injury predominantly incurred in Afghanistan, as well as the paintings and drawings of Harry Parker who was physically injured by a Taliban IED explosion. The charity has now awarded seven arts sponsorships and each have resulted in the start of successful careers. The Sheffield Show, as part of the Invictus Trials, will continue this momentum and the charity is extremely grateful to the City’s support.
Creative work has been scientifically proven to help re route the neurological pathways of the brain and the veterans, with financial support from the charity, have found peace and purpose over the year and the aim now is to launch economically viable careers for them doing what they love and supports them psychologically.
Significant long term support has been given by the following British companies. Mr Porter, Christies, Marks & Spencer, Barclays, Russell & Bromley, Lock and Co Hatters, The Veterans Foundation, Burberry with champagne donated by Pol Roger.
The exhibition will also show powerful images of Emma's visits to Headley Court Military Hospital, as well as photographic portraits of injured soldiers dressed immaculately in a Style for Soldiers / Mr Porter photo shoot by top fashion photographers Ben Weller and Boo George ( below ) to show the importance of smart clothes for morale and self confidence when transitioning into new, unpredicted civilian life and careers.
The exhibition will also be showing several Veterans short films including Former Royal Engineer and triple amputee Matt Weston’s short film starring Style for Soldiers Ambassador Charles Dance, ‘For Love of Words.’
Soldier Artists Dougie Adams and Stewart Hill are both local to Sheffield and have been painting the city and surround- ing landscapes as part of their exhibitions which will be on sale to the public.
Stewart Hill : is portrait painter, poet and motivational speak- er. Following severe Traumatic Brain injury incurred in Afghanistan whilst commanding B Company, 2 Mercian in Helmand in 2009, Stewart rediscovered a passion for painting and it’s vital healing properties as part of his long rehabilitation. Stewart has won several awards, including shortlisted this year for the RA Summer Exhibition and his paintings are on display in some leading galleries. Sir John Timpson OBE, The Duke of Bedford, Nick Knowles and Ray Winstone have all commissioned Stewart to paint their portraits. He is also an accomplished performing poet, writing about his experiences in the military with breathtaking power, conjuring up for the audience the horrors of the war in Afghanistan and responsibilities of military command. Stewart takes portrait com- missions from all over the UK. Stewart is from Derbyshire busy painting local Sheffield cityscapes which will be showing and for sale at the Exhibition.
Martin Wade was medically discharged in 2015 following his diagnosis of PTSD in 2010 some three years after his return from Afghanistan. During a lengthy stay in a German Psychiatric Hospital he was encouraged to paint as part of a holistic approach to his therapy. He found a way to express creatively things he could not express in words.
Former Guardsman Dougie Adams was injured in an IED incident on the 21st of June 2012 on his third tour of Afghanistan and suffered the emotional trauma also of his best friend being killed in an IED attack. Dougie was diagnosed with PTSD and dis- charged from the Army in 2014 and has come to painting for pleasure and effective therapy. He loves dogs and paints powerful and witty portraits but is happiest when he is outside in the wide open land- scape, where he feels at peace with his paints and his easel. Dougie is from Derbyshire busy painting local landscapes which will be showing and for sale at the Exhibition.
Karl Tearney has discovered poetry and art since he was medically discharged with PTSD, poems pouring urgently out of him, and his 570 to date poems will be displayed on one wall titled ‘The Writings on the Wall’ . He also speaks honestly and powerfully about mental illness and gives voluntary talks to the Ambulance Service to help them deal with traumatic work. Karl’s first book of poetry “Second life” launches in July and will be on sale at Waterstones in Sheffield. Karl will be signing books throughout the week at the Exhibition.
Harry Parker grew up in Wiltshire and completed a Foundation Degree at Falmouth College of Art before going on to study History of Art at University College London, where he focussed on post - 1945 abstract expressionism. Harry joined the British Army when he was 23 and served in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009 before going to work as a civil servant. He met Emma Willis at Headley Court Military Rehabilitation Hospital shortly after an injury incurred in Afghanistan, where she was measuring the patients for complimentary shirts. He now works as a painter and writer, his first novel Anatomy of a Solider (2016) is published by Faber and Faber. Harry will be signing his latest book on July 22nd at the show.
John Cutting, studying BA Hons in Fine Art, and served in the Royal Engineers creates Sculptures and instillations from mainly recycled materials. Using the cement mixer on his website, he is creating an instillation which uses noise, video (live streaming from inside the working cement mixer) representing the inner thoughts of Post Traumatic Stress Injury and mental health sufferer. John will be exhibiting his sculptures at Art in the Aftermath.
All artists will be in residence throughout the exhibition.
From 1-2pm each day exhibiting poets Karl Tearney and Stewart Hill will perform their poetry, exhibiting artists will talk about their work with Q&A from the audience, and servicemen authors will read sign and read from their books including Harry Parker and Karl Tearney. Stewart Hill will also perform his 30 minute ‘There but Not There’ stunning performance of his experiences in Afghanistan. “ Thirty eight years of personal development stubbed out like the post firefight cigarettes we smoked about in Afghanistan. No longer can I serve to lead although I plead just to see again, the person I grew to be…"
It will be a positive exhibition talking openly about PTSD and coping with physical life changing injury whilst celebrating our exceptional young servicemen and women in this important centenary year and after a decade of violent conflict.
For more information or further images contact : email@example.com
(Giles Duley Portrait of exhibiting artist Martin Wade)
(Portrait of Ambassador David Gandy by Giles Duley)