Piece Makers, Solo Exhibition, 2014
National Army Museum, London, UK
The exhibition 'Piece Makers' toured to six Regimental Museums in the UK (2014-2016) and Compton Verney (2018). It included the textile work 'Peace Maker' and photographs and text from the 'Piece Makers' project (2012-14).
For this exhibition collaborating participants drew inspiration from the Museum's Collection and their own stories and experiences. The project brought Stockwell and museum curators together with veteran soldiers from two UK recovery centres: Stoll, based in Fulham and Tedworth House in the garrison town of Tidworth, Wiltshire. Through a series of art workshops in 2013, they explored issues around Army rehabilitation and life after service. The veteran soldiers used drawing, sewing and quilting to unlock memories and accounts of soldiering and recovery. This process culminated in a final commissioned work called 'Peace Maker' (2014). In 'Peace Maker' Stockwell used discarded Army blankets to create a patchwork quilt resonant with the fragmentary nature of the recovery process. 'Peace Maker' reflects the profound challenges associated with duty, solidarity, loss and pride. Central to 'Peace Maker' is the work of artist and veteran, Michael Crossan. His poignant screen print captures the essence of soldiers in war and acts as a focal point in the centre of the quilt. It is surrounded by dark grey and white swatches, representing a chess board and the game of war. Many of the swatches are hand embroidered with quotes from participating soldiers as well as other relevant quotes, poems and words. 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. It is a flag for peace, justice, equality and humanity. The project attempts to represent real issues facing soldiers and veterans in and out of service today. 'Peace Maker' and photographs documenting the project 'Piece Makers' was show at the National Army Museum 2014 and then toured the UK in the exhibition 'Piece Makers' (2014 - 2016) before being accessioned into the National Army Museums collection (2016). In 2018 it will form part of the exhibition 'Created in Conflict: British soldiers Art from the Crimean War to Today' at Compton Verney.