Monument is almost the same word in French and English, pronounced differently, but needing no translation. It carries with it similar associations of commemoration, grandeur, endurance and impact.
This exhibition is part of an EU Interreg funded, cross-channel collaboration between galleries in England, Normandy and the Pas de Calais. These regions have in common 20th century war memorials that are a feature of nearly all towns and villages.
Monument draws together works by artists who address the idea of the monument in a great variety of ways. With the centenary of the First World War and the 70 year anniversary of the Normandy landings as our starting place, some of the work on show addresses conflict and memory directly associated with these events. Other works expand on the monument theme more generally, to question the scale and nature of the monumental, the changing significance of monuments and the rituals associated with them and the way we express private or collective memory. Some of the works are more directly about monuments, while others challenge the concept and our expectations. By bringing these works together the curators of this exhibition aim to consider the concept of the monument both as a legacy of war, and also as a vehicle for individuals and communities to make public expressions of memory.