An innovative new exhibition which reflects Berwick’s military history has opened at the Gymnasium Gallery.
‘Ducit Amor Patriae’, translated as Love of My Country Guides Me (or Us), is an installation created by renowned artist Doug Jones and the Border Textile Group.
The exhibition responds to the original use of the Gymnasium Gallery as a place for military training.
It reflects on the experiences of soldiers who lived at the nerby Berwick barracks and used it on a daily basis.
Jones has worked with members of Border Textile Group to create a dense and poignant landscape of solider-like figures that reflect on the heirarachy of individuals within the army and the human cost of war.
The installation consists of 51 soldier figures carved from wood and suspended from the ceiling on wooden fitness swings, creating a dense and poignant landscape of human activity and shadows.
The mass of the soldiers is divided into three individual regiments, identifiable by different colours of military fitness costumes.
A group of figures dressed as generals alludes to the hierarchy of individuals within an army while nurses and priests reflect on the human cost of war.
Jones has worked with eight members the Border Textile Group who have created costumes for the soldiers.
Period costume maker Alyson Farmer created the three generals and former A&E sister Annie Robinson the three nurses. Blue regiment was made by Faith Robertson and her daughter Gill Curry; Green regiment by Sue Dodd and Lesley Abernethy; and Black regiment by Hazel Wight and Diane Chalmers.
Doug Jones uses domestic craft and consumable goods to create sculptures and installations that invite us to reflect on personal and collective, often triggered by events of historic and social significance, and the ‘production’ of heritage.
•Ducit Amor Patriae, by Doug Jones with the Border Textile Group, is open now and runs until September 7. The Gymnasium Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm.