My intention is to hold up these objects without qualifying them as historical reenactments or accurate reconstructions, or as some document or proof of anything, but to hold them up to start to resonate with that nail that still sits inside people, that moment from the Cold War that is still sitting very deep inside people - Stephen Felmingham
The Violet Club is a body of work by Stephen Felmingham, made in response to the Cold War bunkers of the Royal Observer Corps that still exist, abandoned, across the UK. Using the possibilities of drawing as a ’sensitive detector’, he sets out to investigate the trauma of the generation that lived through this most dangerous period in history.
The bunkers have been an enigmatic presence in the landscape for Stephen since childhood and now, as an artist, they have provided him with objects and contexts for drawing. They also act as conceptual ‘laboratories’ for experiments into the subtle field of perceptions that form his work.
This show is the first in a season of drawing exhibitions at Plymouth College of Art, and the work in The Violet Club continues Stephen’s exploration of the abilities of drawing to hold cultural memory and anxieties.