By Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives
Published October 8, 2014
An exhibition promising art lovers a powerful and moving experience, with video, interactive displays and hundreds of original objects, archive film and documents, opens in Bristol, England, on October 11, 2014.
Moved by Conflict, the exhibition developed by Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and marking the centenary of the First World War opens to the public at M Shed and runs through March 1, 2015.
Through hundreds of original objects and archives, Moved by Conflict is set to explore how people in Bristol were moved by conflict, and how the city changed.
Thousands of troops and wounded soldiers came and left the city. Men volunteered. Some refused to fight. Women took on new roles. Refugees arrived. Old industries thrived, new ones started. Moved by Conflict intimately tells Bristol’s story, highlighting how individual lives and communities were changed forever. This moving and informative exhibition will take you from Bristol in the early 1900s and its position in the British Empire, through 1914-1918, to people in the city today affected by current global conflicts.
Among the highlights of the show are a film of soldiers arriving at Temple Meads railway station that has never been seen before; a memorial plaque from a garden in Fishponds, a studded club, a prayerbook belonging to a man killed in the war returned to his family in Bristol and a space for reflection where visitors can use a 1920s typewriter to records their thoughts, emotions and responses.
There will also be an element of theatrical storytelling, where visitors will be able to choose from one of six archetypal characters from the First World War created by Melly Still, an Associate Director with Bristol Old Vic. The exhibition will offer a direct insight into the effects of war on individual lives in Bristol, intertwining both fact and fiction.
Commenting on Moved by Conflict, Vivienne Bennett, Interim Head of Culture, says: “Moved by Conflict is not about global politics or the battles fought, but about people’s lives. Few people realise that Bristol played such a critical role in the First World War: the city was a vital transport hub, the roles of women changed irreversibly and industry thrived. We anticipate that people will respond with their minds as well as their hearts to Moved by Conflict through seeing real objects from the period and hearing moving stories from fictional characters developed by Bristol Old Vic to bring history alive.
War not only affected people 100 years ago, it continues to affect people living in Bristol today, from veterans who live in Bristol to those who have moved to the city to escape war and conflict in their own countries.”
A rich programme of public events will run alongside the Moved by Conflict exhibition:
• On selected Saturdays (October 25, November 29, January 3, January 31 and February 28), visitors will be able to Research their First World War ancestors with the help of Bristol & Avon Family History Society.
• On Remembrance Sunday (November 9) between 4.30-5.30pm, there will be a performance at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery by the internationally renowned Lydbrook Brass band, to include a premiere of ‘Silver Rose’, a new work by Liz Lane inspired by Bristol born war poet Isaac Rosenberg.
• A series of free gallery talks, with a chance to meet the curators and hear fascinating details about the stories connected to some of the most significant exhibits will take place, with British Sign Language interpreted tours and described tours for visually impaired people available to book.
• School workshops and teaching resources can also be arranged by contacting the museum.
Exhibition tickets will be priced adults £3.95, concessions £2.95 and under 16s free. Visitors will be able to able to come back and see the exhibition again for free by keeping hold of their original exhibition ticket. Special free entry days will take place on Wed October 22, Tue November 11 (Remembrance Day), Wed December 17, Wed January 14 and Wed February 11.
Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives is a partner in Bristol 2014 and Moved by Conflict is one of the major events featured in the city’s programme of activity marking the centenary of the start of the First World War. The exhibition is aimed at adults and children aged 10+.
For more information on Moved by Conflict and details of events running alongside, see bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed