This textile work is a flag for peace, justice, equality and humanity.
It evolved out of the project Piece Makers: Soldiers and Sewing where Stockwell collaborated with veteran soldiers and the National Army Museum (NAM), London over a two year period. Peace Maker was the final commissioned work that evolved from researching the museums collection and collaborating with veteran soldiers who were in rehabilitation after serving in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. The participants drew inspiration from the museum's collection and their own stories and experiences. The veterans were from two UK recovery centres: Stoll, based in Fulham and Tedworth House in the garrison town of Tedworth, Wiltshire. Through workshops they explored issues to do with Army rehabilitation and life after service using sewing, quilting and drawing to unlock memories of soldiering and recovery.
In Peace Maker discarded army blankets create a patchwork quilt that references the fragmentary nature of the recovery process . The text and image used reflects the profound challenges associated with duty, solidarity, loss and pride. In the centre of the quilt, acting as a focal point, is the artist and veteran Michael Crossan's poignant screen print that captures the essence of soldiers in war. It is surrounded by dark grey and white swatches resembling a chess board, representing the game of war. Many of the swatches are hand embroidered by Stockwell with quotes from the soldiers and other relevant sources.
The reverse side of the work is an evocative silk flag in Army colours simply containing the word PEACE. This was Susan's personal contribution, a flag for peace. This project and work attempts to represent real issues facing soldiers and veterans in and out of service. The work and the photographs documenting the project toured to six regimental Museums in the UK (2014-16) before being accessioned into the museum's permanent collection in London.
Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today Compton Verney, Warwickshire (March 2018).
National Army Museum, London 2014 and touring to -
Museum of Army Flying. Stockbridge June-Aug 2014
REME Museum of Technology Sept–Dec 2014
Royal Fusiliers, Bury Jan-June 2015
The Kings Own Scottish Borders Museum Berwick-upon-Tweed July-Sept 2015
The Cameroonians (Scottish Rifles) Hamilton, October–Dec 2015
Essex Regimental Museum, Chelmsford Jan-March 2016
by Holly Furneaux 2018