Concrete Castles

27 Jul 2021 to 4 Dec 2021
Cornwall's Regimental Museum
Cornwall's Regimental Museum
The Keep
Bodmin
Cornwall
PL31 1EG

As part of a year-long programme of events telling the stories of Cornwall and the Second World War, we have an exciting new art exhibition entitled Concrete Castles: Britain’s War Defences of 1940, coming to Bodmin Keep!   

The exhibition, which runs from 27 July to 4 December, explores Britain’s Second World War defence structures, especially pillboxes, that are found on the coast and in the landscape. Works by 30 artists will be on display, including sculpture, paintings and photography, celebrating these unsung structures that we so often ignore.

In reaction to the threat of invasion by Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940, Britain hastily constructed 89,000 pillboxes around the coast and across the countryside and these have since been described as 20th century castles. While a few of the more impressive ones have been restored and are even tourist attractions, others are acknowledged through interpretive signage, and some are long-forgotten and dilapidated. Many have become ruinous and half-hidden by encroaching nature.

Concrete Castles celebrates these small but iconic buildings that were designed to protect Britain in time of war.  The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue including essays on the war artists who painted the subjects when new, why contemporary artists are now drawn to them, and a short history of Britain’s invasion scare in the summer of 1940.

A FREE talk by Concrete Castles curator Tim Craven will examine the origins of this unique exhibition project, Nov 12th 7pm More info here

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