Celebrated graphic artist, Dave McKean, discusses his life-long interest and passion for one of the 20th Century’s most important and influential anti-war figures, the soldier, artist and writer, Paul Nash. McKean explains how he came to structure his unique tribute to the artist around a sequence of dreams and imagined encounters.
Together with IWM curator, Richard Slocombe, and chair, Rachel Cooke, author and journalist Observer and Guardian, McKean discusses his research for the project and his interest in Nash’s struggle to cope with his battlefield experiences, his breakdown and his eventual processing of the ordeal through his art, ‘Nash didn’t need to invent surrealism, he saw it for real. He stared at it.’
Taking key paintings created after Nash’s time on the Western Front, they consider how he created some of the most potent images of the First World War and why his despairing interpretations of Western Front landscapes continue to shape our attitudes to not just that conflict but all conflict.