Wartime Wendy

Ann Verdcourt, Artist

This is one of the ceramic artworks in our collection. It was made in Dannevirke in 2006.
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Object Detail


About the Work
“For me, this piece brings to mind the unconventional and brave steps that women made into the working world during the Second World War - and the way that wearing a uniform temporarily removed their individuality. Wartime Wendy could be my Aunty Eva who was a Women's Army Auxiliary, and who much later in her life taught me how to make daisy chains. A friend of mine was painted as Wartime Wendy by Julia Holden in 2019 so I have seen two versions of this work.”
- Scott Flutey for My Choice September 2021

This work is significant in that it draws on Verdcourt’s experience of growing up in wartime England and also her love of art history. Where some of her other ceramic busts are direct copies of figures from paintings, this work is a curious blend of art historical references and Verdcourt’s own personal memories.
"Verdcourt grew up in Luton, England in the midst of World War Two. She vividly remembers during the war the surfaces of buildings being covered in painted camouflage and roofs covered with vegetation to deceive German bomber crews. Coupled with an absence of signposts and nights spent in the air raid shelter, wartime England must have seemed a surreal place to a child.
Here Verdcourt borrows the sitter from Picasso’s 1909 painting Woman with a fan, dresses her in a military-style hat and washes her over with camouflage, as though she is an inhabitant of the artist’s childhood wartime Luton. "
- Object label from 'Ceramics: Ann Verdcourt A Survey' Sep - Dec 2010, Sarjeant Gallery.
Measurements
450mm x 330mm x 175mm
Media
ceramic with slips and stains
Description
Head and shoulders bust of a woman in military uniform with cap, painted in camouflage colours across her face as well as her clothing.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 2010
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
27 Aug 2010

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Accession Number:
2010/4/3