A touring exhibition, The First Casualty of War is Truth, will be open at Jackfield Tile Museum Ironbridge from 6 October to 2 December. Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, this exhibition forms part of Shropshire’s programme of commemorative events to honour and remember the lives of those who served in and were affected by the War. The exhibition has been funded by Shropshire Council.

The First Casualty of War is Truth has been curated by a group of Shropshire artists and features their work, some of which has previously been exhibited at St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, and Theatre Severn. Julie Edwards, Jill Impey, Jacqui Dodds, Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford have created this exhibition to examine how the First World War was and still is represented in the media. The artworks aim to expose truths obscured by time, loss and misinformation and respond to the notion ‘The first casualty of war is truth’.

Jill Impey’s installation, ‘No trees were harmed in the making of this lie’, uses the metaphor of trees as both witnesses and participants. Trees can outlive humans and their squabbles over land and power, but have also been made into ships of war. Cut sections of trees show a timeline of British conflicts since WW1 – the war to end all wars? A recording of today’s young people singing ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ by Wilfred Owen brings the piece into the present.

Inspired by a visit to the Tower of London poppies art installation, and the poem ‘Lost in France’ by Ernest Rhys, Jacqui Dodds has approached the theme of ‘The First Casualty of War is Truth’ in an abstract way. ‘Truth’, as what people hold to be true in their lives, is disrupted by war, some can be regained, some is lost forever with those who did not return.

Keith Ashford has chosen to reinvent a flying model of a WW1 aeroplane from his youth. In ‘Escape Velocity’ a fragile balsa and tissue plane has turned into an essentially ephemeral representation made from porcelain. These delicate gliders only have one chance at a successful flight, and are destroyed on landing, a fitting symbol for the young pilots who after just 15 hours of training, often only survived days on the front line.

Personal loss of loved ones is the theme for Julie Edwards ‘Ours’. Based on family mementos from WW1, including medals, photographs and drawings, the tragedy of loss in just one family symbolises the effect on families across the world.

The title of ‘BoG Standard’ by Elizabeth Turner refers to precision engineering; instruments were calibrated to ‘BoG’ (British or German) Standard. The death rate in the trenches in WW1 is often referred to as on an industrial scale. In 1917 at Passchendaele, for each individual death only two inches of ground was re-taken by the allies, and the cast iron sculpture includes soil as a reminder of that statistic.

The exhibition will run from Tuesday- Sunday 6 October – 2 December at Jackfield Tile Museum and is included in the admission fee.

For more details about the exhibition see www.ironbridge.org.uk and for visitor information call the Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424.