New exhibitions at DLI Museum and Art Gallery

New exhibitions at DLI Museum and Art Gallery

Plane surgery by Julia Midgley (7893367)

Prosthetic leg by Julia Midgley (7893369)

Red Cross by Julia Midgley (7893375)

Tank Rides at Abbingdon Air and Country Show, Dalton Barracks, Oxfordshire, 3 May 2009. Picture: Melanie Friend, Courtesy of Impressions Gallery (7893459)

Avro Lancaster Bomber (part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Eastborne International Airshow, Sussex 15 August 2009. Picture: Melanie Friend, Courtesy of Impressions Gallery (7893471)

First published in News

A NEW exhibition of photographs exploring the uneasy relationship between entertainment and the military has gone on display.

The Home Front, at the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery, in Durham features three related series of pictures by photographer Melanie Friend .

Made over a four-year period, the exhibition considers the civilian experience of war and conflict as a spectacle.

The first set shows children and holidaymakers at British seaside resorts as they are disrupted by the roar of fighter jets taking part in public air shows, while the second series reveals the on-ground attractions of air shows held at Royal Air Force bases and private airfields.

In the final series of images, Friend offers a rare glimpse of international arms fairs and air show trade days, usually off limits to the general public.

In her early career, Friend worked as a photojournalist for a wide range of magazines and newspapers and also took photographs for the anti-nuclear movement and contributed features for the BBC.

The Home Front is an Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Pippa Oldfield.

Meanwhile, an exhibition of drawings by reportage artist Julia Midgley, which aim to record medical practices in the modern military, has opened in the same gallery.

War, Art and Surgery features images of surgery being carried out in the back of military aircraft, soldiers with prosthetic legs and medical equipment.

Inspired by Henry Tonks, who produced portraits of soldiers injured during the First World War, Midgley decided to create a series of drawings of facial reconstructive surgery.

At times, this involved drawing while travelling in a Hercules aircraft as surgeons and nurses took part in medical training exercises.

Both exhibitions, supported by Arts Council England, will run until September 21.

Usual admission charges apply. For further details, visit

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