Craig Handley

Fear Portrait 1

Oil on Linen

50 x 40cm

Gallipoli Artprize Finalist Craig Handley

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning…

This is a passage from the poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen.

It flawlessly captures the birth and horror of this particularly brutal and indiscriminate form of warfare and was the inspiration for this painting. The tendrils of Owens poetry are so far reaching, so important that I hope this image acts as the spark to explore more of his work. Wilfred died on the Western Front a few days before the end of the war.