Passchendaele Mud and Memory, Belgium February 5, 2019

The exhibition ‘Passchendaele Mud and Memory’ by Professor Stephen Dixon focuses on the ability of battlefield objects, artefacts and materials, to conjure up a mnemonic resonance of time, place and experience. The focus of the exhibition is a large portrait sculpture, made using terracotta clay sourced from the Wienerberger quarry and brickworks, located on the Passchendaele battlefield site at Zonnebeke. The portrait is an ‘everyman’, an assemblage of the features of soldiers from some of the many nations who fought and died at Passchendaele. The Passchendaele Archives project of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 was deeply involved in the realization of the portrait.


Other elements of the exhibition focus directly on the evocative power of historical artefacts. An installation of facsimile Navy and Army Catering Board plates is printed with drawings made from excavated objects, often with poignant, personal associations; a pair of glasses, a penknife, a harmonica, a cigarette lighter, a wristwatch. Another display is made up of a collection of crested china, a form of commemorative ceramics popular in the UK during the First World War, encrusted with Passchendaele clay.


The exhibition is located in the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.
Berten Pilstraat 5A
8980 Zonnebeke