War artist shares stories of conflict and human endurance in talk at Perth Museum & Art Gallery

11th January 2017

David Rowlands has faced snipers, hung out with Kate Adie and seen all the extremes of human emotion. It’s all in a day’s work for this war artist, who will share his stories at a forthcoming free talk at Perth Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday January 19th.

David has spent 30 years capturing war scenes from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan as oil paintings, commissioned mostly by the British Army. And although his job is as risky as it is highly emotional, David says he feels he is not only recording history but making a tribute to those who have served.

David, who is a freelance artist based in Bristol, has worked with a number of British regiments, including The Black Watch. He will appear at Perth Museum & Art Gallery as part of Perth and Kinross Remembers, a five-month series of exhibitions and events with a war theme.

“For those in the Armed Forces, going on active service is probably the most dangerous and exciting time in their lives,” says David. “War is not something many of us want but it’s a constant in human history. And when it happens there are extremes of human emotion and not just the negative. People display heroism and stoicism and endurance. Yet when you meet these people they’re often the quietest, reflective people who don’t appear like heroes.”

Years of working in war zones have shaped his personality, he says.

“I’m fully aware that I’m a very calm sort of person. Things I see people around me getting excited about, like getting stuck in a traffic jam or not getting to an appointment on time, I just contrast that with places and people I’ve seen – people who have lost their families, homes and livelihoods.”

David will share his stories, and the practicalities of sketching and painting war scenes, at a free talk from 7pm to 9pm at Perth Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday 19th January 2017. Booking is essential. The event has a limited number of free tickets at Eventbrite.

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