image: ‘THE PLAN’ Lisa Traxler 2020
constructed collage painting
79 x 61cm / framed
Concrete Castles: Britain’s War Defences of 1940 – group exhibition
Timber Store, Coleshill Buscot and Coleshill Estates – National Trust
Kemble Drive
Wiltshire SN2 2NA
02nd August – 11th September

Home of World War 2’s Auxiliaries, Coleshill, presents an exciting art exhibition entitled Concrete Castles: Britain’s War Defences of 1940. The exhibition, explores Britain’s World War 2 defence structures, especially pillboxes, that are found on the coast and in the landscape. Works by some 30 artists will be on display, including sculpture, paintings and photography, celebrate these unsung structures that we so often ignore take for granted. 
In reaction to the threat of invasion by Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940, Britain hastily constructed 89,000 pillboxes around the coast and across the countryside and these have since been described as 20th century castles. While a few of the more impressive have been restored and are even tourist attractions and others are acknowledged through interpretive signage, some are long-forgotten and dilapidated. Many have become ruinous and half-hidden by encroaching nature.

Concrete Castles celebrates these small but iconic buildings that were designed to protect Britain in time of war. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue including essays on the war artists who painted the subjects when new, why contemporary artists are now drawn to them, and a short history of Britain’s invasion scare in the summer of 1940.

Open every Tuesday – Sunday from 2nd August – 11th September, 10am – 4pm.