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Culture, Northern Ireland, and the Second World War$
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Guy Woodward

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716853.001.0001

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‘Strange Openings’

‘Strange Openings’

Visual Art

Chapter:
(p.131) 3 ‘Strange Openings’
Source:
Culture, Northern Ireland, and the Second World War
Author(s):

Guy Woodward

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716853.003.0004

Somewhat perversely, the Second World War created conditions in which visual artists in Northern Ireland could flourish. The unprecedented influx of foreign troops and refugees brought many new cultural modes and traditions to the province, and the conflict’s attendant anxieties, uncertainties, and visual stimulants seem to have encouraged artists to experiment with form and composition to a greater degree than had previously been possible. This chapter scrutinizes the war paintings of three Belfast artists, Colin Middleton, Gerard Dillon, and William Conor, tracing the impact of Continental styles on art in Belfast and exploring porous distinctions between official and unofficial war art at this time.

Keywords:   Colin Middleton, Gerard Dillon, William Conor, John Hewitt, Blitz, surrealism, war art, official war art

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