Stella Bowen : Art, Love and War
Period: The war years
This twisted metal shell in this painting resembles a mutilated human torso. The painting recalls the ruined shells of houses in earlier works, as well as being a graphic illustration in its own right of that sense of vulnerability that Bowen saw all around her during the bombing. The use of watercolour underscores the fragility of life, but the delicate blades of grass around the bomb are a sign of regeneration.
The deliberate use of the word “remains” in the title is an ironic comment on our ability to create weapons that are then used to destroy life.