Ceramic artworks Rifleman Hiles' IED Brush and Swift and Bold Jug featured in Arts Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2018.

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Coverage of the exhibition ‘Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today’ in Art Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2018, featuring a description and images of Christopher McHugh’s ceramic artworks, Swift and Bold Jug (2013) and Rifleman Hiles' IED Brush (2013). Furneaux, H. & Orrock, A. 2018. Created in Conflict: The Art of War, Art Quarterly, Spring 2018, pp. 56-59. ‘Focusing on art made by the British Armed Forces over the past 200 years, a new exhibition at Compton Verney explores the creativity of soldiers. From quilts fashioned from used army blankets to collaborations between veterans and contemporary artists, the works reveal often surprising narratives about both the professional and private lives of service personnel. Here the show's curators, Holly Furneaux and Amy Orrock, select six key pieces from the 50 displayed’ Excerpt from text ‘Christopher McHugh's Swift and Bold Jug draws upon his collaboration with members of Third Battalion, The Rifles (3 Rifles) to make ceramic works of art in response to their experiences fighting in Helmand during Operation Herrick 11 (October 2009-April 2010). The soldiers brought with them significant objects connected to the campaign, and many of them also discussed their tattoos memorialising dead comrades or family members. Tattooing, with its long military and maritime tradition, continues to be a significant practice of soldier art, in which the body itself is inscribed with war experiences, especially loss. McHugh's jug intersperses tattoos with lucky charms, creating a durable repository for these memories in the form of an object that spealcs to a long tradition of trench art by recalling inscribed First World War shell-case vases and jugs. Soldiers' day-to-day work often requires high levels of dexterity and precision, skills that are honoured in McHugh's ceramic piece Rifleman Hiles' JED Brush. McHugh's ceramic is a cast of the domestic paintbrush that was used by rifleman Lee Hiles to excavate improvised explosive devices during his patrols in Afghanistan; the brush is marked with a tally for each device detected. McHugh's casting of this everyday object recognises the artistry implicit in the delicate work of IED removal - the humble paintbrush becomes an object literally poised between life and death.’
Held atCardiff University, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Christopher McHugh
  • Art Quarterly
  • Created in Conflict
  • Holly Furneaux
  • Amy Orrock
  • Soldier
  • art