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large artwork
Left Panel Centre Panel Right Panel

About the Work

Left Panel: Spa, in eastern Belgium, was the town which was to give its name to many others. For centuries this was the most fashionable resort in Europe. I photographed the names of its famous clients as displayed in the town centre.
During the First World War, this town was German military headquarters for the Western Front. The Kaiser lived here, but his name does not appear. Neither do those of his generals - Hindenburg, Ludendorff, etc.
The covered gardens were originally built for the Hapsburg Empress, Maria Theresa. During the First World War, wounded officers were parked here to take the fresh air.

Centre Panel: On a large memorial at 'Tyne Cot', in Flanders, is recorded the name of my grandfather, Jack Butler, who together with thousands of others also listed there as having no known grave, was killed in the notorious Ypres Salient. Jack, to all accounts, a reluctant soldier, was killed in 1917. He was 24.
In my photograph, names cannot be seen because of the brightness of the spring sun. Jack's name is above the roses I placed there.

Right Panel: In the centre of Montreuil, in northern France, stands a theatre. Although there is no plaque to record the fact, during the First World War, this was British military headquarters for the Western Front. I photographed the nondescript interior one spring afternoon.
On either side of the work can be seen a few of the names of those with no known grave on the Menin Gate in Ypres. I have included my grandfather's name. When I took the photographs, all the names were being restored as they had become badly weathered.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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