An arty couple with roots in Germany and the UK are exhibiting their artwork to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.
The exhibition at Brackenburys cafe in Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush, will show paintings by German born artist Inge Schlaile and poems by her British partner and former BBC journalist, Patrick Howse, who is now teaches journalists about going into hostile environments.
Mr Howse, who reported from the Iraq war for the BBC between 2004 and 2009, turned to poetry to help him recover from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he experienced as result of witnessing many horrific events in Iraq.
The emotional suffering caused by war are themes which his poetry explores and which he believes we should remember on the centenary of the Great War.
He said: “Both my grandfathers fought in the First World War and the emotional damage they suffered as a result of their experiences had long lasting effects on my family.”
Many of his poems explore these ‘lasting effects of war that go on for generations’ and BBC veteran reporter John Simpson, who he worked alongside in Baghdad, is a fan.
Alongside poetry, the exhibition also features 10 paintings and two sculptures by Ms Schlaile, who has had her work exhibited internationally including in the US, Japan and her native Germany. Her expressionist paintings often depict live models in abstract ways.
Ms Schlaile explained she is one of those artists who does not like to explain her work. Instead, she prefers people to interpret her art in their own way. “I just do the paintings and leave other people to see what they see,” she said. “People tend to connect emotionally with my paintings, rather than figuratively.”
The artistic couple, who have a two-year-old daughter and live in Shepherd's Bush, will be at a private view for the exhibition at 6:30pm tonight. The exhibition is open daily until August 31 from 8am until 5pm, and until 4pm on Sundays.