Andy Farr exhibition takes students back in time

Artist Andy Farr working with BSA students Benjamin Whiteley Aisha Imra feature

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A new exhibition at Batley Art Gallery is helping young people to understand what it was like for people their age during the First World War.

The exhibition is part of a project is called Lost Generation and it has been funded by the Arts Council.  It was the idea of artist Andy Farr and  features students from Batley School of Art. The project aims to make the 100th anniversary of  WW1 more relevant to today’s young people.

100 years ago, the youth of Britain were caught up in the excitement of fighting for the honour and glory of their king and country. But the truth was that if you were a teenager in 1914,  a third of your friends would have been dead 4 years later, those who did survive would have been physically injured and mentally scarred.

Artist Andy Farr has painted the students at Batley School of Art into pictures inspired by archive photographs and into famous paintings. In the painting the teenagers take on the jobs that young people had during the war. They become rag sorters, munitions workers and soldiers.

Andy Farr has previously worked with students in Leeds, Burton on Trent and Leamington Spa on the project.

Artist Andy Farr said: “For this project my goal has been to make current teenagers realise that this would have been them. Black and white images from the last century can be seen as irrelevant to today’s young people, but by putting them into those images enables them to connect with the lives and experiences of their peers from the past.”

The Andy Farr exhibition opens on 28th March 2015 and will feature a mix of painting and sculpture by the artist and students at BSA, as well as work from previous collaborations with Cockburn School, Leeds and Trinity School, Leamington Spa.

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