AMID the tranquillity of Winchester Cathedral Close an art installation highlights the horrors of war.

Artist Ian Golding's 'This is not a Minefield' will be sited in the Inner Close until April 25.

The red tape, skull and bones and the message itself ‘This is not a minefield’ bolded in black across a billboard present a stark contrast to the backdrop.

The piece, made in collaboration with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) poses the question, what would it be like to live in a place where you cannot escape the remnants of war.

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Millions of people suffer the consequences of conflict decades after it has passed through abandoned minefields.

The artwork is not a stand alone piece, as on the pavement is a noticeboard  a placard including a poem by writer Brian Draper and the testimony of Soran Kareem, a 37 year old farmer who found himself close to death when becoming trapped inside a minefield.

Mr Golding will be joined by Brian Draper and Jon Brown (Director of engagement for MAG) at the Wessex Learning Centre in Winchester on April 18 at 6.30pm, to discuss the challenging work of clearing debris from war torn countries.

He said: "As an artist I am interested in using my practice to ask questions about the world we have created, whether about climate change, political instability, the precarity of resources or the impact of warfare on humanity. Prompted by an interest in my adopted son’s homeland, I started to research the impact that we in the West have had upon Afghanistan. Two salutary facts struck me immediately: Since 1989, about 56,923 Afghan civilians have been recorded to have been killed or injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) averaging to around 110 people per month. In 2021, more than 79 percent of the ERW casualties were children.”

Hampshire Chronicle: 'This is not a Minefield' installation in Winchester Cathedral Close'This is not a Minefield' installation in Winchester Cathedral Close (Image: Andrew Napier)

"In September I embarked upon a collaboration with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), effectively operating as an artist in residence. I have been exploring all aspects of their work, researching archive material, talking to experts in the field and visiting a humanitarian demining operation in Bosnia. My intention is to use art to ask questions about the impact of the industrial military complex upon our world. I believe that art can be a force for good, challenging our preconceptions and provoking a response."

Mr Golding is currently completing a BA in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art and says he is grateful for the academic and technical support he has been given.

"I should also say a huge thank you to the Cathedral team, none of this would have happened without their encouragement. Finally, I want to acknowledge the amazing team at MAG, I have never met such an extraordinary group of people, dedicated to make the world a better place. I hope that these works will help to raise awareness of their vital work."

The Inner Close is set to be the location for a new statue of Jane Austen.



Thank you,