I'm not into comic books really so I was a little surprised to find out that Dan was taking me to Kendal to see something to do with The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival. Comic artist Dave McKean (who I confess I'd never heard of until Saturday, but it turns out I have seen some of his work before, such as Coraline by Neil Gaiman) has produced a comic book for 14-18 NOW on the subject of the artist Paul Nash. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a bit will have heard me talk about Paul Nash before here, when we went to Atkinson in Southport, and at The Whitworth in Manchester the day I fell down the stairs at the train station.
The most well known piece from 14-18 NOW is something I'm pretty confident most, if not everyone, has seen in pictures if not in the flesh - Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red aka the poppies at the Tower of London and now on tour. If you've been to Liverpool recently you'll almost certainly have seen Sir Peter Blake's Everybody Razzle Dazzle, the Dazzle Ferry too.The purpose of these artworks is to offer us a new way to explore and be connected to World War I, a century on. There are plenty of events this year in various locations around Britain, and of course for the next two years.
It was a video and music performance which made for a very intense and emotional hour, there was the a short Q&A with the artist and then a chance to buy a limited edition of the work before the official release of the graphic novel in October. I was blown away by the artwork and how it discussed the issues of mental health and in particular PTSD, it gave me another insight into an artist I love and a peek at an artist I hadn't considered before.
For anyone interested there's a major Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain from October 2016, if you're not interested in that then I can offer you the chance to stay at my house one weekend looking after the buns so I can go to see it instead!