VFP UK Photographer Stuart Griffiths’ Exhibition; CLOSER

19 September to 7 October 2014.

Private View: Friday 19 September 6pm to 8pm.

‘Stuart is a unique photographer as he shows us army life, not from an
embedded viewpoint (like so many images around war), but direct from his
experience of being there as he was a soldier himself.’  Magnum photographer Martin Parr.
Stuart Griffiths began taking photographs when he was a young soldier on
patrol in West Belfast in the late 1980s, carrying a ‘sure-shot’ instamatic
camera in his chest-webbing alongside 120 rounds, water bottles and
field dressings. CLOSER is the culmination of his complete work to date and
will be shown at Sussex Coast College, Hastings, from 19 September until 7
October 2014.

This is the first time that the entire show, including artworks, has been
exhibited in the South East region. The show includes candid photos of army
life taken in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s during Stuarts’ time serving in the
Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland; an installation of his illustrated and
highly personal Xeroxed letters home; and large-scale colour photographs of
socially-excluded veterans, accompanied by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull’s
documentary film Isolation (2009), which charts the making of these images.

Commenting on the exhibition, Stuart said: ‘I began making these
photographs as a response to my personal feelings towards war. This was
long before charities started using cuddly teddy bears as a way of making
serious injuries acceptable to the masses. I wanted to show the horror of war
and its aftermath and realised early on that it was the young people that
carried the worst scars of all. To me, when I began working on CLOSER, it
was to be a visual protest against war; now the work is complete, I still feel the
same way. Bringing the show back to Hastings is like CLOSER has
completed its very own tour of duty and this is the homecoming.’

Stuart will be available at the private view on Friday 19 September from
6.00-8.00pm to sign copies of his memoir Pigs’ Disco.

Stuart served in The Parachute Regiment and is a member of VFP UK