This week I started my second war poet portrait, this time of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918). He is referred to as the ‘quintessential’ war poet and remarkably, the majority of his poems were written in the last 18 months of his life – he died the week before the end of World War One in France.
So far, I have machine stitched his face and body, and after almost 12+ hours of sewing on his cap alone, I finished hand sewing the poem ‘Mental Cases’ onto his cap. The cap I have now ‘painted’ with tea, so create a look of sepia.
Whilst working on the poem on his cap, I have been developing the ideas for the background details. One of the many images I wish to include was that of the Rounded Sundew, the flower of Shropshire where Wilfred was born. Interestingly, it is a carnivorous plant, but I feel it’s ‘tentacles’ on the flower look almost like gunshot wounds or burst blood vessels.
I’m beginning to get a bit cross-eyed from such close work! But, tomorrow, I hope to add to the portrait a poem, I haven’t decided which yet, which symbolises the shape of the River Severn in Shropshire and the Sambre-Oise Canal, where Wilfred Owen died.