Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art from War!

Heh! Today I visited Kranji War Memorial to better understand the conditions during WWII and to appreciate the sacrifice of both civilians and soldiers of many nations.

My group facilitator mentioned about a soldier, Stanley Warren, who painted the Changi Murals. And I thought it would be cool to check him out! (not in ... that way... I meant on Google!)

Stanley Warren is a bombardier of the 15th Regiment of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who is known for painting the Changi murals at a chapel during is internment in Chanji Prison during WWII. His five murals on the walls of St Luke's Chapel depicts the biblical scenes of the Nativity, the Ascension, Crucifixion, Last Supper and Saint Luke in prison. His murals were completed under difficult conditions of sickness, limited materials and hardships. With a message of universal love and forgiveness, they helped to uplift the spirits of the POWs and sick when they sought refuge in the prison chapel.

After the war, the walls of the chapel were distempered over, hiding the murals from view. They were forgotten until its rediscovery in 1958. Due to their historical significance, an international search was conducted to locate the original painter in helping to restore the partially damaged and faded murals. Stanley was eventually found in 1959 and, after much persuasion, agreed to assist in the restoration project. He made three trips to Singapore between 1963 to 1988 to restore his former paintings. Due to Stanley's advanced age, only four of the original murals were fully restored. In the 1990s, the former site of the murals was gazetted as a Heritage Site by the National Heritage Board of Singapore.

"The Nativity"

"The Last Supper"

"The Crucifixion"

"The Ascension"

"Saint Luke in Prison"

I think Stanley Warren is awesome to be able to paint these paintings of war and hardships!

For more information (and this is the bibliography too!):

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