Queen and Country – A project by Steve McQueen

Queen and Country

This powerful exhibition commemorates British service men and women who have been killed in Iraq. The project takes the form of a series of postage-stamp sheets featuring photographic portraits of individual men and women who have died in the conflict so far.

Queen and Country was created by official war artist Steve McQueen in collaboration with 155 families whose loved ones have lost their lives in Iraq. He wanted to find a way to bring these people into our everyday lives, homes and workplaces as a reminder of our country’s participation in the conflict. Queen and Country is both a tribute to the deceased and a reflection upon the validity of war, the structure of power and notions of national identity.

McQueen says of the project: “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Queen and Country is a particularly important and meaningful work for me in that it is a collaboration with the families of the deceased and potentially with the whole nation. It addresses our individual response to a face-to face meeting with those who have died in our name. It is important to avoid euphemism. It is my hope that one day these portraits will be issued as stamps and will in this way enter the lifeblood of the country.”

A deceptively simple artwork that prompts many questions, Queen and Country will resonate in Colchester, a town renowned for its military history.

Brought to Art Exchange in collobaration with Art Fund.

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