Nelson Museum, Priory Street Monmouth
Open 11am-4pm every day except Wednesdays.
The exhibition runs until late January 2018.
There’s a rare opportunity to see an exhibition that so cleverly combines art and history located so perfectly in the context of Museum dedicated to the same subject. NELSON – BACK from TRAFALGAR is a series of artworks exploring the life and character of Lord Nelson. It works back through time from his state funeral at St Paul’s cathedral in 1806 to his early days learning his profession on the river Thames and River Medway.
Each piece illustrates an episode in Nelson’s life in watercolour, photographic image and collage. There are 15 pieces in the series. The artist Susan Amos is fascinated by the ships and the way of life in the age of sail. But it was reading Nelson’s own words in the many thousands of letters he wrote that inspired her. “Although my pictures are about specific historical events in the life of Nelson they are always essentially about emotion. They fall into peaks and troughs of sadness, contentment, excitement, pride, confusion, despair, loyalty, adventure, boredom and expectation”
She works by surrounding herself with lots of possible images from newspapers and magazines which match colour and style of the emotion. She also uses photographs of her own – over the years she has assembled many photographs of sites connected with Nelson, from Wimbledon to Naples!
Sometimes she incorporates her own watercolours of objects of her own used as props, painted full size then reduced down in photographs. “All these various images are finally assembled and the positioning of them is taken on all at once. The background is then worked around the images to a plan already in my mind. This final part of the process has taken an average of 10 hours work over about 4 weeks. The whole set took 2 years to complete.”
Nelson met his death at Trafalgar on October 21st 1805, a day still marked to his memory by those who honour a man who remains a national hero. Visit this exhibition this October and journey back through his lifestory, then visit the rest of the remarkable Nelson Collection at Monmouth Museum. All for free.