Press Centre


  • Episode: 

    6 of 6

  • Title: 

    WAR ART with Eddie Redmayne
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Sun 24 May 2015
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    10.15pm - 11.15pm
  • Week: 

    Week 22 2015 : Sat 23 May - Fri 29 May
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

    Last in series
The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 19 May 2015.
Series overview
The Perspectives documentary strand brings together powerful stories and unique insights into the arts from a range of well-known figures. Now in its fifth series, the strand will encompass six films from a rich variety of distinctive individuals offering their take on subjects for which they have a personal enthusiasm and fascination.  
WAR ART with Eddie Redmayne
For Perspectives, Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne explores war art and how conflict's compelling stimulus to the imagination has created some of our richest and most powerful artistic inspiration.  He takes an intensely emotional journey, visiting artists' studios, museums and travelling to battlefield locations to discover how artists have shone a powerful light into the abyss of warfare, leaving a unique legacy.
Redmayne, who studied History of Art at Cambridge University, meets contemporary war artists, soldiers and historians and travels to Flanders where he comes face to face with reminders of the fallen.
Says Redmayne: "I have attempted as an actor to play someone from the First World War and of course when prepping you do as much research as you can.  You try and imagine what it was like to be living like that, to be on the ground. But with that period I have always found it impossible - not photography, nor accounts could really ever capture that horror.  But for me it was the art and all sides of that art, people trying to depict the undepictable, that perhaps came closest."
The First World War had more serving artists than any other war in history.   Redmayne explores the iconic canvasses of the Great War - Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, John Singer Sargent and Henry Tonks, as well as the modernists C.R.W. Nevinson and David Bomberg, whose controversial art responded to the weaponry of the new machine world in revolutionary new forms, changing the artistic landscape forever. Redmayne travels behind the scenes to see war art hidden away from public view - some censored, some never seen on film before.
The challenge for artists of depicting war continues today. Redmayne meets contemporary war artists to see how this art form is as vital now as it ever was, including George Butler(Syria) and Graeme Lothian (Afghanistan), reportage artist Julia Midgley and official war artist Peter Howson (Bosnia), whose work was censored.
Director Margy Kinmonth says: "The war artists were not just observing the conflict, their inventiveness also played a part in helping to fight the enemy.  My film uncovers the innovation, bravery and creativity of the war artists, showing work never before seen on film, some of which was censored by the authorities which had commissioned it. I was interested in the many artefacts, like long lost sketchbooks, left behind to help us to piece together the picture, one hundred years later."
Directed/Produced by Margy Kinmonth for Foxtrot Films