Shaped by War is the largest ever UK exhibition about the life and work of one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers Don McCullin. The exhibition, which features around 250 photographs, contact sheets, objects, magazines and personal memorabilia, comes to London in an updated form following a highly successful run at Imperial War Museum North last year.
Don McCullin has photographed war for more than 50 years and many of his iconic black and white images have come to shape our awareness of modern conflict and its consequences. Shaped by War brings together McCullin’s frontline work from conflicts all over the world including the confrontation between East and West Berlin, Vietnam and Cambodia, the conflicts of the Middle East and the intense human suffering in Biafra and Bangladesh. These are displayed alongside McCullin’s photographs of more recent conflicts such as the Gulf War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
A number of significant portraits, which have been rarely seen in public, have also been released by McCullin especially for the exhibition at Imperial War Museum. These include several haunting images of anonymous victims of wars around the world plus two portraits of Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry whose series of brave actions in Iraq in 2004 saw him awarded a Victoria Cross. The stunning principal photograph captures the tattoo of a Victoria Cross which covers Beharry’s back, and was the first digital photograph by McCullin to ever go on public display. It was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in 2010 for the opening of its Extraordinary Heroes exhibition in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery.
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