Fields at Rest, ©John O’Grady
15″ x 21″ x 1″, oil on panel, ready to hang.
NFS (Not for Sale)
Across the fallow fields of Northern France, another year is coming to a close.
100 years ago today peace finally came back to the land after unimaginable loss of life.
They were what Gertrude Stein called the ‘Lost Generation’.
Many were lost and those that did survive were irredeemably changed by what they saw and experienced.
Each life is precious and I cannot help but think of the artists and poets who lost their lives:
Franz Marc: German expressionist painter
Isaac Rosenberg: British poet
August Macke: German expressionist painter
Guillaume Apollinaire: French poet
Umberto Boccioni: Italian futurist sculptor
Wilfred Owen: British poet
Thomas Kettle: Irish poet
Ivor Gurney: British composer
Raymond Duchamp-Villon: French Sculptor
Edward Thomas: British poet
Francis Ledwidge: Irish poet
The list goes on.
Who knows what they might have brought into the world had they lived.
I hope you enjoy looking at the painting on this day.
Hi John, your painting is a moving tribute to all those young men who died in the war. Another artist friend of mine Cormac O’Leary wrote the following poem in memory of his Great Grandfather who was lost in Gallipoli in 1915.
Remembrance, in memory of John Sullivan
His last letter home was written
In great haste
Under a foreign moon
Death was the next port of call
Out on a darkening sea.
He requested woodbine,
asked after relatives and friends
Remember me to the children….”
Thanks very much for posting Cormac’s poem, it’s poignant and powerful.
Hello John, your moving painting gave me food for thought ….about loss of a future for those that died and the impact on those left behind. What might have been for those the ‘Lost Generation’. The field depicted seems to represent the scars of battle with deep wounds or furrows illuminated by a cold white light. This landscape has witnessed the horrors of war and yet in this depiction suffused with emotion there is a calm, reflective quality. It deserves to be shared as widely as possible in my opinion!
Your wonderful poetic phrase ‘the field depicted seems to represent the scars of battle with deep wounds or furrows’ really encapsulates what I tried to aim for in the painting., although I didn’t realise that till after I read your comment, the marks of paint were as you so elegantly describe, reflective of the physical and emotional wounds of that terrible time. Thank you very much