The Veteran (2015 charcoal and pastel 40cms x 30cms approx.)
Inspired, no doubt, by Doug Selway’s exhibition, Shelf Lives – which looked movingly at aspects of memory and story-telling – I thought I’d draw someone with a vivid history.
This charcoal and pastel drawing is based on a David Bailey photograph of 103 year old war veteran, Joe Britten, published in the Guardian some months ago. Joe has had a life and a half, serving in A Squadron of the reconnaissance unit during the Second World War alongside actor David Niven. Apparently, Niven asked Joe, “Who do you fancy in Hollywood?” He answered, “Dorothy Lamour.” “I’ll see to it, Joe” said the actor. After the fighting was over, Joe received a 6′ high photograph of Miss Lamour signed “To Joe, love from Dotty.”