Images from the Outskirts of War

James Boswell: Unofficial War Artist: Drawings of Army Life in Iraq and UK 1939-1943 by William Feaver offers a fascinating insight into the “unpretentious, unheroic, unsmarmy” work of the NZ-born artist and political activist. Born in 1960, Boswell migrated to London in 1925 to attend the Royal College of Art (which suspended him twice for “stroppiness.”) In 1933 he joined the Communist Party and became a founder member of the Artists’ International Association (AIA), a politically-minded group for young artists of which he later became Chairman. Boswell used his artistic talents for left-wing political ends – illustrating the Left Review, making banners for Artists Against Fascism and Aid for Spain – and it was these political colours which eventually disqualified him from being an official war artist in WW2. Feaver’s book focuses on Boswell’s work during his service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. “Boswell’s war proved uneventful compared to that of firemen and slave labourers but that, in retrospect, makes his drawings no less telling. He drew London in blackout and blitz, New Zealanders astray in Piccadilly, prams parked outside tube stations while families sheltered underground … Boswell’s Iraq is a land of dead ends. A railhead connects with a fuel dump; wire surrounds every patch worth thieving from. Smoke rises aimlessly from black stoves lined up behind the cook huts where dogs sniff through shoals of emptied tins.”


Tags: Aid for Spain  Artists Against Fascism  Artists International Association  Guardian (The)  Iraq  James Boswell  James Boswell: Unofficial War Artist: Drawings of Army Life in Iraq and UK 1939-1943  London  New Zealand  Piccadilly  Royal Army Medical Corps  the communist party  The Left Review  the Royal College of Art  William Feaver  World War II  

Moe mai rā Nancy Brunning

Moe mai rā Nancy Brunning

One of New Zealand’s best loved actresses Nancy Brunning, made famous as Nurse Jaki on Shortland Street, has died in Wellington, aged 48, Daily Mail Australia reports. Brunning, a talented playwright, acting…