The Battle of Verdun
This poignant piece of artwork which is on show now at Bradford Local Studies Library, depicts a trench scene from The Battle of Verdun in France. It has been created by Geoff Latz who is a Bradford based artist.
Geoff is an ‘Upscaling’ artist and creates artwork mainly from unwanted or reclaimed materials. He works predominantly in various metals, i.e. copper, steel, wire etc, but uses whatever materials are necessary to create his work, as is the case with this particular piece. He has a passion for history and takes much inspiration from this when creating his work. He likes to make things that have an educational value, to inspire people of all ages, to catch the imagination and tell a story. You can see more of his work at http://www.latzart.com.
Earlier this year he created this piece of artwork to commemorate the First World War, which depicts a trench scene from The Battle of Verdun in France. This was longest single battle of WW1, fought between the French and German armies from 21th Feb to 18th Dec 1916. It was nick-named “The Meat Grinder” as it was so bloody and resulted in a magnitude of casualties and deaths, an accurate figure of which will probably never be known. The impact of the battle on the French Army was a primary reason for the British starting the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, in an effort to take German pressure off the French at Verdun.
The artwork is set in a box display frame approx L85cm x H52cm x D15cm, with a toughened glass front and LED lights. It is a mixed media piece, painted in acrylics. The detailed scene has been created using various materials including stones, twigs, sand, metal and wire. The sandbags are made from jute shopping bag handles, the cenataph from glass & granite tiles and the crosses from matchsticks. The soldiers are made from copper wire, one has been shot. The numbers at the top right corner signify the estimated total casualties and deaths as a result of this battle, at the time of Geoff’s research.
The Battle of Verdun is on loan to Bradford Local Studies Library at the Margaret McMillan Tower building until Friday, October 21. It will then be going on a tour of libraries in the district. Next it will go on display at Bradford’s City Library in City Park until November 4 when it will move out to the district to go on show at Keighley Local Studies Library, coinciding with a screening of the Imperial War Museum’s film The Battle of The Somme on November 19 by the Men of Worth project.