Members of the Enham activities Art Group have worked together to produce a mixed-media painting depicting the Second Battle of Alamein, commemorating the 80th anniversary of this event of October 1942.

Fifteen different residents of Enham worked collaboratively to create this huge piece of art, which depicts the Egyptian landscape torn by explosion and war.

This mixed media artwork incorporates paint, pastels, printing, and applied collage. Art group members worked together to decide which elements to include and how to achieve desired results, including making paint “bombs” for the fiery explosions, and painting fabric flags depicting the countries of the allies and the axis who took part in this landmark battle.

Tanks and planes used by both sides in this conflict are depicted within the scene, using specially created printing blocks, and the blood-red sky, poppies, and war graves, symbolic of lives lost, link the various elements together.

Denise Starr, one of the artists, chose a few lines from a poem by war poet Keith Douglas “How To Kill”, which features in the sky over the battle scene. Soldier Douglas was renowned for his war poetry during the second world war, and took part in and survived the Second Battle of Alamein, only to be killed in action later, in the invasion of Normandy. The poignant words selected by Denise from her chosen poet, point to the sense of impending death which pervades throughout times of war.

Working together on this piece allowed group members to learn about the battle, as they explored written and pictorial accounts from history, choosing the different elements to include whilst devising the composition.

It is hoped that the piece will go on permanent display in the future, alongside artefacts from Alamein of the period, which form part of our cultural heritage.

The following group members contributed to the finished artwork: Chris Jenkins, Robert Goodman, Robert Byrne, D M, Chris Jenkins, Sharon Feltham, Matt Foster, Simon Harvey, Gary Ferguson, Saskia Mackintosh, Tess Burminster, Catherine Griffiths, Sarah Griffiths, Denise Starr, and Hayley Quirke.