Celebrating the inherent ingenuity born from war to combat some of its worst effects. Lung Protector draws from many sources but focusses upon the participants of the first world war. It plays with the glamorisation of warfare and in particular the dehumanising effect early designs of gas mask. The show also pulls upon childhood fears and fascinations, playing in the attic and finding an old gas mask in the half light.
Whilst researching this project I came across many wonderful accounts of heroism and comradery often long after their war had finished as they attempted to fit back into a society which respected them but had no more need of them. In particular the life of Captain Flora Sandes the only British women to actively fight in the first world war serving as an officer of the Royal Serbian Army. She started the war as a St. John Ambulance volunteer before being commissioned on the field and eventually rising to the rank of captain. After being invalided out after a grenade attack she recuperated then re-joined her unit before the war ended.
The exhibition also pulls upon childhood fears and fascinations, memories of playing in the attic and finding an old gas mask staring out of the half-light.
LUNG PROTECTOR ran from the 3rd until the 22nd of April at the Art Yard in Cradley Heath.