chapter  4
21 Pages

Make art not war

Defence sites find new life as centres of creativity
ByCelia Clark

This chapter explores examples of reanimation of defence sites by art, illustrating different routes taken to these new activities, identifying the agents who initiate this dramatic change, high level of design skills needed and the environmental, economic and social outcomes that result. In considering the relationship between art and war, 'war art', painting, sculpture and poetry, may have several purposes. 'War shapes lives', proclaimed the 2002 brochure that launched the Imperial War Museum North in Salford, UK. As Greg Ashworth points out in War and the City, war has also shaped the form and development of towns and cities. The redevelopment of historic Gunwharf on Portsmouth Harbour lacked a cultural dimension until the local civic society recognised the potential of the Vulcan storehouse of 1814 as a potential art gallery. In the UK, in Portsmouth and Chatham the dockyards, Submarine Museum in Haslar, Priddy's Hard Ordnance depot in Gosport and Gunwharf are the focus of leisure and defence heritage tourism.