Mess Deck

Mess Deck
Jack Nichols
Mess Deck

oil on canvas
86.5 x 127.7cm
CWM 19710261-4303

Contemporary art critic Graham McInnes wrote of Nichols’s official war art in 1950:

Groups of sailors in the sick bay, in their hammocks in the foetid below-decks atmosphere of a pitching destroyer, or snatching a few brief moments of leisure in the heat and press of convoy duty: all these convey both the sadness and the ultimate serenity of a scene from Dostoievsky.

Mess deck was the last canvas Nichols completed as an official war artist. Notice how the cup held by the central figure is conveyed by a few lines scratched into the paint.