‘Make Do and Mend’ is an exhibition by award winning photojournalist Alison Baskerville. The exhibits will be on show at The Lake Side gallery, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, over Remembrance weekend.
Revealing the hidden world that does not typically make the news, Alison has captured those off duty moments, illustrating what it is really like to be a soldier in Afghanistan. The exhibition opens for two days only, Friday November 9, 10am – 9pm and Saturday November 10, 10am – 9pm.
“We see lots of pictures, photographs of soldiers living and working in the field but much of life on operations, as one soldier described it to me is ‘99% boredom and 1% chaos!’. I was intrigued to capture the other side of life in Afghanistan, the way soldiers improvise every day objects to make life more comfortable, how they cope with boredom, add humour and live through the separation from their friends and families. When you start looking, you suddenly see moments of thoughtfulness, how people spend their ‘down time’ and the interaction with the Afghan people.” Said Alison Baskerville.
Alison aims to show the intimate and personal details of soldiers working and living on the frontline in Afghanistan.
Exhibition curator, Kate Livingston said, “What gives Alison’s work that special quality is that she doesn’t stage any of her shots but by being ’embedded’; living alongside and experiencing the same conditions as her subjects, she learns about their lives and stories and is able to capture those private moments.”
“On operations there are very few home comforts but soldiers are resourceful and once in a location it is only a matter of hours before they make that space their own. Limited by what they can carry in their bergens, military rucksacks, soldiers are skilled in taking what they can find in their environment and making life more comfortable. Bed spaces will be personalised and kit is adapted, dogs become pets and small gardens are created. Where ever they are, soldiers will make the most of their lot, however basic the conditions.” Said Alison.
Alison Baskerville is currently experiencing international success with her other exhibition ‘The White Picture’ which looks at the role of women on the front line in Afghanistan and is showing at the Gallery @ Oxo Tower in London.
Alison, 37, is based in the UK. She spent 12 years in the military before developing her career as a photojournalist. In 2011, as a Sergeant in the Territorial Army, she spent six months out on the ground in Afghanistan with the combat camera team. This year she went back to Afghanistan for six weeks commissioned by The Royal British Legion as a photojournalist to capture images of the role of women in Afghanistan.
The Poppy Appeal is the nation’s largest and most loved fundraising campaign in support of our Armed Forces. The Legion’s national fundraising target s a record breaking £40 Million, with all money raised going towards providing vital support for the Armed Forces and their families. www.britishlegion.org.uk