11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

On Sunday we went to see the exhibition of Stanley Spencer's murals for Burghclere Chapel, showing scenes from the first world war, currently on tour while the chapel undergoes restoration (at Somerset House till 26 January). They are based on his own experiences as a hospital orderly in Bristol and also fighting in Salonika - full of detail and also with that strangeness that infuses his paintings.
"Resurrection of Soldiers", behind the altar of the chapel, is shown in the exhibition as a projection

This morning, 11 November, the two-minute silence found me in the menswear department of Next, which was practically unpopulated at 11am on a Monday. I had forgotten what day it was. The muzak stopped; a brief announcement; then the silence.

I stood looking at the racks of shirts and jumpers and jackets - how many hundreds were in that one store?? - imagining them worn by the men killed in recent wars and wars longer ago. Would the shirts and jumpers in all of London's shops have been enough for all of them?

Blithely a shopper appeared from the direction of the stairs, whistling to himself as he no doubt continually did. The muzak started up again; remembrance had finished.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

poignant connection with the clothing!