The Crimson Heart - solo exhibition by Nigel Oxley
The Crimson Heart - Part 1: Ewa's Story, Part 2: My Father's War.
In 1942 Oxley’s father, L/Sergeant Cecil (Bill) Oxley, Royal Artillery, was taken as a prisoner of war at the fall of Tobruk, Libya, North Africa. He was subsequently transported and imprisoned at P.G. (Prisoner of War Camp) 70, Fermo, Italy. The capitulation of Italy in 1943 resulted in all allied prisoners being cattle-trucked to Germany. Thus he arrived at Stalag (Stammlager) IVB near Muhlberg by the River Elbe. He spent the remainder of the war there, eventually being liberated by mounted Cossacks in April 1945.
The work is a response to his father’s lived experiences as a prisoner of war from 1942 to 1945 - stories the artist was never told directly, but discovered several years after his father’s death while sorting through his effects. The relics that were used to produce these two suites of prints are tell a personal history but also reveal the experience of those confronting conflict and imprisonment and through the creativity of human spirit, the attempts to build and engage with an environment beyond the hostility and brutality of incarceration.
Nigel Oxley is a master-printmaker, having worked for over 30 years in some of the most notable editioning studios in the UK including White Ink and Kelpra. He is the author of 'Colour Etching' - a valuable practical guide for the beginner and for those wishing to develop their printing and etching skills. He taught at the Sir John Cass school of Art in London until 2012, retiring as senior Lecturer in Drawing and Printmaking. He continues to work and teach from his studio in East Sussex. Oxley’s fourteen prints represent almost two year’s work. The processes used include drypoint, polymer etching, solar plate etching, Dremel engraving and chine collé. Non-standard materials were also prepared for planographic printing and hand applied colour and pochoir. All the plates/matrices were inked and then assembled on the bed of an etching press in order to be printed as one with a single pass through the press.
Opening Night: November 8th, 6pm - 9pm. Continues till Friday 23rd.
Artists Talk: 2pm, Saturday November 10th. All welcome.
Cotton Court Gallery, Warnig St, Belfast, BT1 2ED