Memorialise Oh what a lovely War
Historically speaking, portraiture of individuals in military uniforms has a long-standing tradition, which goes back for centuries. From the 17th century, it became popular for soldiers with a commission to have their portrait painted. In part, this practice was developed into a sense of pride and identity for the individual, the regiment and the dynasty of their family.
This practice continued until the development of the camera. With the advent of photography, it soon became popular to have your military portrait taken with a camera rather than a painting. This first became prevalent with the Crimean and the Boer Wars, and by the First World War, it was common practice for everyone to have a military portrait. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) of Elizabeth College has been a great source of pride to the College since it was founded in 1902. I would like to build on the historical integrity of the CCF and carry on the tradition of military portraiture, developing this historical practice into a contemporary approach.
In 2018, it will be a century since the end of the First World War. To commemorate the sacrifice of the Old Elizabethans and other Guernsey inhabitants who took part, and for those who died, I will be taking photographic portraits of the CCF, the ACF, the Air and Sea Cadets in doing so I will be capturing a part of history, which can be so fleeting. I will be recreating the style of military portraiture which was extremely prevalent at the time of the Great War. Photographers of this period would use painted Renaissance style backdrops. Or a scenic style painted backdrop, which would relate to where in the world a particular soldier would originate. I have a genuine interest in capturing our world through the lens and telling a story with photography. The story of the Cadets is a story of positivity and historical responsibility. The portraits will tell the story of the contemporary CCF, the ACF, the RAF and the Sea Cadets which, in time, will become an antiquity of the military portraiture of our past.