Ex-soldier’s exhibition at Sussex Coast

Photographer Stuart Griffiths’ solo show CLOSER is coming to Hastings this month.

The ex-soldier’s exhibition will be on at Sussex Coast College in Station Plaza from September 19 to October 7.

Stuart began taking photographs when he was a young soldier on patrol in West Belfast in the late 1980s, carrying a ‘sure-shot’ instamatic camera in his chest-webbing alongside 120 live bullets, water canisters and field dressings. CLOSER is the culmination of his complete work to date.

The show includes candid photos of army life taken in the late 1980s and early 1990s during Stuart’s time serving in the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland, an installation of his illustrated and highly personal Xeroxed letters home, and large-scale colour photographs of socially-excluded veterans, accompanied by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull’s documentary film

Commenting on the exhibition, Stuart said: “I began making these photographs as a response to my personal feelings towards war. This was long before charities started using cuddly teddy bears as a way of making serious injuries acceptable to the masses. I wanted to show the horror of war and its aftermath and realised early on that it was the young people that carried the worst scars of all. To me, when I began working on CLOSER, it was to be a visual protest against war; now the work is complete, I still feel the same way. Bringing the show back to Hastings is like CLOSER has completed its very own tour of duty and this is the homecoming.”

Stuart will be available at the private view on September 19 from 6pm to 8pm to sign copies of his memoir