Liberation Day photograph is the inspiration for new art exhibition

Kate Grittton Photo SUS-180531-085657001
Kate Grittton Photo SUS-180531-085657001

When St Leonards artist Kate Gritton was drawn to a black and white photograph on a visit to a museum in Venice last year, she did not realise with would inspire an art exhibition.

She said: “The photograph was taken after the liberation in 1945.

“In the centre, the British soldier wearing a beret strongly resembled my father and although I knew he had served in Italy, he had never mentioned Venice. Curiosity led me to retrace his actual steps through that part of the war.

“A cook, attached to an artillery unit in the Italian Campaign, he survived to return home to his family and civilian life, but he never spoke of those he left behind.

“Although it was a question of mistaken identity, it led me into retracing his actual steps through the Italian Campaign of 1943-1945.”

Kate’s current exhibition at Hastings Arts Forum, Marina, St Leonards, called ‘Soundings - in search of my father’s war’ is the result of her experience.

She said: “The paintings in this exhibition reflect the emotional journey on which I have been engaged for the past year, searching for that untold story. Some pieces are in response to the beauty of the Italian landscape, other more visceral images speak of the human cost of war.”

The exhibition opened on May 29 and runs until June 24. The gallery is open Tuesday - Sunday from 11am - 5pm.

Kate Gritton studied Fine Art at London Guildhall, specialising in painting and printmaking. She then moved to Western France and exhibited there as well as London.

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer series titles by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer simply click here (