Study Visit: Current Conflicts

Rich_exampleCurrent Conflicts is an exhibition of new work by six photographers including OCA tutor Les Monaghan

Here’s Les, on the exhibition themes: The exhibition aims to engage the public with a series of artists’ responses to ideas around modern warfare, in particular the West’s engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a very topical subject, through our own research and the work done at seminars we have found that the exhibition provides a forum for debate. We have discovered a public feeling that there is little alternative to thinking about war except within the parameters set out by the media. Concepts such as embedding and citizen journalism do not seem to have resulted in any increased knowledge, empathy or discussion.

The artists are building towards two significant markers occurring in 2014; the pullout of NATO troops from Afghanistan and the centenary of the start of the First World War. One of the themes of Current Conflicts is the constant of war in human life. Others include masculinity and war, media representations (and misrepresentations), the aesthetics of war, and landscapes and war. The artists utilise their varied proximity to current conflicts to explore ideas shared by all of us when confronted by the modern notion of war.

The exhibition will be in the Pendle Art Gallery at the ACE Centre in Nelson, Lancashire throughout August and on Saturday 23 August there will be an artists/curator talk for the general public and OCA students. We know from previous talks that students get a great deal out of these opportunities. To reserve a free place email

Previously the Current Conflicts group ran a seminar at Watford Space2 Gallery, the essay to inform that seminar is available to download here. [Please be aware that the images used to illustrate the essay may upset some readers].

Image Credit: Richard Monje ‘untitled’

[Current Conflicts features work by Matthew Andrew, Christopher Down, Richard Monje, Olivia Robinson, Jamie Simonds and Les Monaghan]

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7 comments for “Study Visit: Current Conflicts

  1. Rob
    17 July 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Sounds good – I’ll hopefully make it there..,

  2. 18 July 2014 at 7:25 am

    I’m hoping to make it too, it should be a thought provoking day.

  3. Jeannette Coleman
    18 July 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I should love to see this exhibition – it ties in with my subject – art and war.
    Unfortunately I shall not be able to attend. Will there be any chance of viewing at least some of the exhibits on line ? In any case very best wishes for the project.

    Jeannette Coleman

  4. 24 July 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Hi all

    Just an update on the talk, its scheduled for 1pm (the gallery is open 10am – 3pm), there is free parking outside for up to an hour and you can ask at reception for an extended permit.

    Some links –

  5. 20 August 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Carmela at Pendle Art Gallery has posted an informative account of the exhibition here –

  6. colincaygill
    21 August 2014 at 11:26 am

    Sorry I can’t make it but I’m out of the country at the moment. Will visit when I return.

  7. Rob
    23 August 2014 at 8:01 am

    So, what time is this on today then? I know that the talk is 1pm, but is there not a gathering to discuss images before/after?

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