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Born in Lithuania, Indre Serpytyte is an artist living and working in London. Indre is concerned with the impact of conflict and war on history and perception. She works with photography, sculpture and installation.

In association with her new work When the Golden Sun is Sinking, Indre will be speaking about her practice, research and commission.

It is estimated that throughout both World Wars, the Ministry of Munitions employed around a million female munitions workers in thousands of arms factories. These women played a crucial role in Britain’s strategy of 'total war', especially after Britain’s shell crisis in 1915 when there was a severe shortage of artillery shells on the front line. The women worked extremely long hours as production was focused on a 24-hour shift pattern with only one day off a week.

Using archive material from collections in the Midlands as well as from the Imperial War Museum, Indre has examined the relationship between widely publicised propaganda images of the female factory workforce, as part of a political project of morale boosting, and the images, accounts and ephemera that tell the largely hidden and forgotten story of the so-called ‘munitionettes.’

In her work, Indre looks at the history of female work and life in the context of war, violence and political strategy as well as the home as a place of waiting, loss and a repository for memory and objects. Domestic objects on shelves and mantlepieces provided keepsakes as well as reminders of lives and death. In her work, Indre will use vases as a way to explore the complex relationship between domesticity, ornament, labour, class, gender, war and trauma. The work will explore the objects and materials of war.

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GRAIN Projects commissioned Indre to collaborate on research and make new work, and this is exhibited at Rugby Museum & Art Gallery, 7 May-22 June. More information on that here.

(Image credit: © When the Golden Sun is Sinking, Indre Serpytyte)

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