A River artist who used the Memorial as a backdrop for her RAF-inspired work with aluminium will be displaying her art in The Wing at Capel-le-Ferne at the end of this month.
Bev Williams used the Spitfire replica and the Stuka sculpture at the Memorial as backdrops for her large sheets of linked aluminium circles, draping the material over parts of the aircraft as she worked towards her Fine Art Textiles degree with the Open College of the Arts (OCA).
The finished work, Linking the Circle, marks, she said, “an interesting journey into investigations using recycled aluminium”. It will be on display in the Geoffrey Page Centre in The Wing from 27 to 30 October from 10am to 4pm.
Bev’s work pays tribute to her late father-in-law Bob Williams’ service in the Royal Air Force during the second world war and his subsequent employment with the Aluminium Corporation Ltd in Dolgarrog, North Wales.
“Bob was born in North Wales in 1920. During WW2 he served in the RAF in North Africa and Italy. He was an aircraftman, and we think he would have serviced Bristol Beaufighters,” she said.
“My research started by looking at Bristol Beaufighters, but I became distracted by the Spitfires flying over Kent, so I soon turned to those. I was also aware that aluminium was used in some components on Spitfires and aware of the Spitfire Fund and Lord Beaverbrook’s appeal for households to donate their aluminium cooking pans to help the war effort.”
Creating new and innovative tools to process the unpredictable metal, Bev Williams uses her textile knowledge and expertise to join the thin pieces of aluminium, creating stunning and unique artworks from this unpredictable metal, which she cuts from used drinks cans.
“I have to listen to what aluminium is saying to me. I can’t anticipate or influence what to do with the metal, I have to be sympathetic to what the metal allows me to do,” she said.
An audio visual presentation as part of the exhibition will showcase Bev’s findings and will, she said “result in an unusual and interesting experience for the visitor, where they will be able to challenge the way they think about this industrial metal”.
Admission to the exhibition is free (nominal car parking charge applies).