Exhibited: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, Pallant House Gallery, October 2015 – February 2016, cat 88. WW2 – War
Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October-23 November 2016, cat 108. Literature: Evelyn Dunbar – The Lost Works, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2015, cat. 88, page 136; WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 108, page 152.
Evelyn Dunbar wrote to the WAAC in December 1939 offering her services. At the time she was working in her sister’s haberdashery shop, having abandoned a plan to open an art gallery due to the war. She expressed particular interest in women’s agricultural and horticultural subjects.
For Dunbar, World War II offered new opportunities to explore the relationship between people and the natural world. In pictures examining how the war effort affected the home front, we see Dunbar move out of the realm of the domestic garden and into the productive world of farming. As well as demonstrating Dunbar’s occasional experimentation with new painting techniques, these pictures sometimes served a didactic purpose in showing the correct ways of undertaking manual tasks.
We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes for assistance.