Last Saturday saw the opening of Faces of Conflict, an exhibition at RAMM examining the impact of the First World War on facial reconstructive surgery.
This exhibition has been developed collaboratively between the University of Exeter and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), funded through an the EU INTERREG IV-funded project called 1914FACES2014, led by Prof Bernard Devauchelle (Institut Faire Faces) and Prof David Houston Jones (University of Exeter).
The exhibition looks at the unique historical situation of the facially injured soldiers of the First World War, the complex question of their reintegration into society and the long-term cultural legacy of that situation. It features photographs, film and artworks. The subject of the exhibition is challenging but important, as it exposes the realities of war and our reactions to it.
To enable you to explore the subject more deeply, RAMM has organised a series of events to accompany the exhibition including a debate on 12 February ‘Rethinking the Face’ in which World-leading facial surgeons, artists and campaigners discuss how they collaborate towards new understandings of the face and of disfigurement.
The project has also hosted an artist in residence at the University, Paddy Hartley, who has been focusing on retelling the story of Plymouth Sailor Walter Ernest O’Neil Yeo who sustained terrible facial burns in the Battle of Jutland, and subsequently underwent pioneering facial surgery at the hand of surgical pioneer Sir Harold Gillies.
The exhibition runs until 5 April 2015 and is open daily from Tuesday – Sunday,10 am – 5 pm except bank holidays. Entry is free.