UK artist: Stamps of war dead

2010-03-18 20:10

kalahari.com

London - British artist Steve McQueen, a Turner Prize winner and acclaimed filmmaker, has called for portraits of soldiers killed in the Iraq conflict to be turned into postage stamps.

Presenting his installation made as official war artist for Iraq at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Thursday, McQueen urged the public and media to back his campaign, which has fallen on deaf ears at the Royal Mail.

"What's important about this presentation today is that we need your help," he told reporters as he stood beside an oak cabinet containing 120 vertical draws, each holding a facsimile of a sheet of stamps with the image of a soldier killed in Iraq.

"We're trying to do the right thing, we're trying to do the honourable thing and get these stamps issued," he added.

"We're not interested in sensationalism, we're not interested in anything other than doing the right thing."

McQueen has spoken of his frustration with the Royal Mail, and said that the majority of families of soldiers killed in the Iraq conflict supported the idea of the stamps.

The number of British troops killed in Iraq since the US led invasion in March 2003 is 179, and 275 more have died in action or in accidents in Afghanistan since 2001.

Britain has withdrawn almost all of its troops from Iraq, but the fact that soldiers are still serving and dying in Afghanistan means the issue is a raw one for families and the broader public.

Ultimate sacrifice

Roger Bacon, father of Major Matthew Bacon who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005 aged 34, is one of those who supports McQueen's initiative.

He said a "fitting memorial" would be "that other people, as they go about their daily lives, could see our wonderful son and all those other wonderful sons and daughters on the stamps and realise that the ultimate sacrifice had been made in the name of their country".

But the Royal Mail, which decides what appears on postage stamps, said in a statement that its own independent survey of soldiers and families showed that more than 75% did not want to use images of the deceased.

They "felt it would be both distressing and disrespectful to use images of recently deceased servicemen and women particularly because of the way they are cancelled/defaced with ink as they pass through our sorting equipment and also because used stamps are mostly binned".

"The responses reveal that an iconic emblem like the poppy, which is currently available on a special stamp, is seen as a positive image by almost three quarters of those surveyed."

McQueen's work, entitled Queen and Country, is described as a work in progress as more images are added over time.

The artist spent six days with British troops in the Iraqi city of Basra in 2003 and began work on the installation in 2006. It now contains images of 160 soldiers and will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from March 20-July 18.

A Queen and Country book has also been published by the British Council featuring images from the artwork and a poem from Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott.

Read more on:    steve mcqueen  |  uk  |  arts  |  war
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Bellville - 17:26 PM
    Road name: Strand Road Eastbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Old Paarl Road and the R300 Highway
  • Thursday Kommetjie - 17:22 PM
    Road name: Ou Kaapse Weg Southbound
    DELAY approaching Kommetjie Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your heart is big and you are sensitive to the needs of those around you. Your humanitarian side is emphasized today and you may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.