Official Artist, The Falklands War Commemoration Collection

The Falklands War Collection

The Army Benevolant Fund were keen to work with a military artist to produce an exhibition of paintings to commemorate 40 years since the Falklands War. This resulted in ‘The Art of War’, a one – day exhibition on 28th May 2022, comprising of 12 paintings by Jeremy Houghton, the Official Artist for the Falklands Conflict 40th Anniversary.

When troops were deployed to the South Atlantic in 1982, the artist was eight years old. He has vivid memories of events and took great care to compile a scrapbook with newspaper cuttings, with particular interest in HMS Hermes, aboard which his godfather was serving.

These scrapbooks inspired the collection, including first-hand accounts from veterans introduced to him via the ABF. Falkland landscapes, portraits and troops in conflict scenes are depicted in a palette of greys against a vivid neon undercoat, replicating the newspaper cuttings. It creates a sombre mood to reflect the 258 servicemen who lost their lives and is a definite move away from his signature blue watercolour.

Lasting 74 days, the Falklands War was the first military action since the Second World War that utilised all of the Armed Forces. This was of great interest to Houghton who was excited by the opportunity to paint all three services.

Going to great lengths to capture the mood and events accurately, Houghton spoke to Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, a local veteran awarded the Military Cross for action during the Battle of Mount Tumbledown and had the honour of sketching Simon Weston CBE, a Welsh Guards veteran known for his bravery and charity work following severe burn injuries.

The exhibition was unveiled at Pangbourne College on the anniversary of the war in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel. Proceeds were donated to the ABF which does such amazing work to support serving soldiers, veterans and their families.