mac , Birmingham, United Kingdom 23 Apr 2016 - 03 Jul 2016
Walker,The Big Secret (2015) conte on paper; photography: Chris Keenan
‘Shock and Awe’ is new commission of drawings by the acclaimed Birmingham artist Barbara Walker.
Acknowledging an absence of representation over the past 100 years, Walker’s exhibition concentrates upon the contribution of Black servicemen and women to the British Armed Forces and war efforts from 1914 to the present day. It reflects upon contemporary British conflict alongside historical events of warfare involving Britain and the colonised nations of the British Empire. As the world commemorates the centenary of World War I, this remarkable body of work addresses the stories that remain largely untold.
Poignant and affecting, Shock and Awe alludes to the physical and psychological impact of conflict, and on the often turbulent return to civilian life after war. Through the collection of large scale drawings, Walker reflects upon the contributions of the British West Indies Regiment and the King’s African Rifles, among others, and addresses gender and the under-recognised role of servicewomen from the Caribbean and West India Regiments in World War II.
Shock and Awe is commissioned by mac birmingham and curated by Lynda Morris. It has been realised with support from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, The John Feeney Charitable Trust and Arts Council England.