• Lonfon au tombor

  • Drummer Boy

Lay Figures and Costumes

This pair of paintings is the first of the costume identities that entered into the painting series.

It shows the lay figures in their more common role. When the figures arrived with me, amongst their possessions were some of the clothes they had been dressed in. Uniforms, soldier’s jackets – from the French blue to the English red.

The Lay Figures have taken on the identity of their clothes just as they have always done.

My influences for these paintings were also changed having read through an account of the battle of Waterloo. The drummer boys became a symbol of their own identity, as well as a symbol of hope in the name of King and country.

I remember a large series of drawings showing the meeting of Wellington and Boucher amidst the carnage of the dead and dying. This is drawn to precision in every detail. Yet there was not a mark on the dead or wounded and raise the question of glorifying war and victory.

I have no knowledge of war. No comprehension of the chaos, the noise or the random survival. The sacrifice, the bravery or the fear. I can make no comment other than.

The 12 year old boys who stood in the front line to their own drum beats walked forward protected by men on either flank. Never a target – they often survived such conflict.