PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION MARKS 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY - Friday, 23 May 2014

Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings by showcasing the work of Portsmouth photographer Russell Squires in a new exhibition.

Russell uses a series of colour and monochrome shots to explore the French coastline where on June 6, 1944, British, American and Canadian forces landed on the Normandy beaches in one of history’s largest military assaults – D-Day.

A photography tutor and support technician at The University of Portsmouth and the Open College of Arts, Russell will display 25 main photos at Fort Nelson, from June 1 in the exhibition – Landings.
Russell said, “When I visited the Normandy beaches to the sites of the D-Day landings, I had no idea what to expect, or any clear vision on approaching the work – only that I felt it important to visit them in an attempt to reflect upon the great sacrifices that took place.

“The beaches still hold some evidence of the past; decaying concrete defences that bear witness to the violence of yesterday. Yet I did not want to focus on these structures – my aim was to document the surrounding landscapes, to reflect upon the current environment and to leave the connective discourse to the viewer.”

Russell describes himself as a multi-faceted artist with an eclectic style, who primarily uses photography with a fine art and documentary-based content. He’s also a “self-confessed geek and sci-fi fanatic”, with a love for technology and its involvement within the arts.
Fort Nelson is a fitting venue for Russell’s exhibition as it played a vital role in the defence of Portsmouth during the 1939-45 conflict, with a former anti-aircraft gun battery sited at nearby Monument Farm. It is now home to the national collection of artillery – the big guns.

Fort Operations Manager Nigel Hosier said, “We are delighted that the Fort is hosting such a visual and relevant exhibition to mark this important anniversary. The City of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas played a major role in the Second World War and I am sure there will be considerable and sustained interest in Russell’s thought-provoking work.”

The exhibition runs until October 13, as part of the Royal Armouries’ Inspired By programme – an initiative which harnesses the talents of community groups and individuals and invites them to represent the museum’s national collections in exciting and innovative ways.

Russell added, “I feel extremely honoured that my work was chosen to be exhibited at Fort Nelson as it’s a great historical and educational establishment. The work’s subject matter is very well suited to the museum and is complimented by the surrounding exhibits.”

Museum entry is free and includes admission to the exhibition, plus free parking.

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