JACQUELINE Hurley’s commemorative expressionist War Poppy Collection has recently opened at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The 41 individual works recognise the suffering and sacrifice of soldiers who fought in WW1 and WW2 through to the present day and have been displayed during The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall in 2015 and 2016. Signed prints and medallions featuring her artwork have raised tens of thousands of pounds for Armed Forces charities.

Jacqueline, whose work has also featured on the front cover of Army&You, began painting in 2014 as a therapy, following advice from her doctor, to help conquer severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

She found inspiration for the War Poppy Collection when recalling the tragic death of her friend Royal Marine Neil Dunstan whilst he was serving with in Afghanistan in 2008. Marine Dunstan was killed in an IED explosion that destroyed his Jackal vehicle while undertaking a routine patrol with Afghan National Security Forces.

The paintings use texture and layering as part of Jacqueline’s expressionism style, demonstrating that the hidden aspects are as important as those immediately visible. The red remembrance poppies are juxtaposed against highly textured, gritty impressionistic landscapes.

Silhouettes help people connect with the works in a more personal, emotional and sentimental way, encouraging viewers to appreciate the subjective nature of the paintings and the impressionism.

For more details on how to visit the War Poppy Collection, visit http://www.thenma.org.uk

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