Ne'er Shall I Forget

Mounted drawing on a WWII trunk.

This is an installative drawing representing lost voices of women in history. Elizabeth Black was an artist from Pittsburgh, who joined the American Red Cross in 1943. She travelled to WWII camps from England to Germany as part of the Clubmobile brigades, dispensing coffee and doughnuts, and helping to raise morale. In 1944 she wrote a proposal to Washington to sketch the portraits of the servicemen she came across, and send the drawings back to their loved ones at home.

 

70 years later, in a trunk left in a garage of one of Black's surviving relatives, 100 photographic copies of some of the 1000 sketches she'd made, were discovered. With them were the notebooks filled by her subjects, many of whom whilst signing and providing home addresses, had left personal messages and poems to her. The title of the piece is taken from such a poem. And along with these, were the letters that she had in turn received from the recipients of those portraits - the mothers, wives, sisters. 

 

It is known that in some cases, though not quite how many, the soldiers had already died before the portrait had reached the families back home. 

 

And that some families still have the sketches hanging in their homes, unaware of who Elizabeth Black was. 

Studio 24

Bloc Studios

Sheffield UK

© 2020 Janie Moore