The Home Front - Melanie Friend

21 Jul 2014 – 21 Sep 2014

Event times

10.30-4.00, Wednesdays to Sunday (plus Tuesdays in August)

Cost of entry

£4 adult, £3 conc. £2 child. Includes admission to DLI Museum

Durham, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Durham City Centre and Bus Station 1/4 mile
  • Durham Rail Station 1/4 mile

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From the distant silhouette of a Lancaster bomber glimpsed over a British seaside resort, to the hidden world of global arms trade fairs, The Home Front explores links between militarism, marketing and entertainment. Melanie Friend has spent four years making three related photographic series that together explore the civilian experience of war, with a particular focus on public air shows that take place at Royal Air Force bases, and in the skies above seaside resorts. The first series depicts expansive beachscapes that are temporarily militarised by the fleeting roar of fighter jets, whilst children and holidaymakers look up from below. The second series reveals the on-ground attractions of air shows. Frequently billed as a fun day out for the family, Friend captures the humour and unease in scenes of visitors taking tank rides, handling weapons, or trying on military uniforms. In the third series, Friend offers a rare glimpse into the environments of international arms fairs and air show trade days, usually off-limits to the general public. Friend says ‘there is a clear disconnect between the enjoyment of war technologies as leisure and entertainment, and the actual effect of weapons. I'm interested in examining our complicity as civilians with the wars our government undertakes, and uncovering how war is normalised'. An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Pippa Oldfield.

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