The Art Fund brings Queen and Country to the Liverpool Biennial

  • 14 August 2008

The Art Fund is bringing Queen and Country to St George's Hall, where it will be on display from 5 September until 31 October. Commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, Queen and Country was created by official war artist Steve McQueen in collaboration with 137 families whose loved ones have lost their lives in Iraq.

The work commemorates British servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the conflict and consists of a cabinet containing a series of facsimile postage sheets, each one dedicated to a member of the armed forces killed in Iraq. Corporal Ben Nowak, a Royal Marine from Speke in Liverpool, is one of the soldiers featured in the work. He died aged 27 in a bomb attack near Basra, Southern Iraq.

Until the stamps are officially issued by Royal Mail the artist considers Queen and Country to be incomplete. The Art Fund is spearheading the campaign to gain public support for the project and visitors to St George’s Hall will be invited to sign The Art Fund’s online petition asking Royal Mail to publish the stamps. Mr Michael McEvett, Corporal Nowak’s uncle, is one of the 13,000 people who have so far signed the petition in support of the campaign.

Steve McQueen was born in London in 1969. He won the Turner Prize in 1999 and was awarded an OBE in 2002. His first feature film Hunger won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year and he has been selected to represent Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

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Notes to editors

1. For details of the tour, and to sign The Art Fund petition, please visit www.artfund.org/queenandcountry
2. Queen and Country is part of the Imperial War Museum’s permanent collection, following its presentation by The Art Fund in November 2007 with a full grant of £60,000.
3. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. 
4. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members.  Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
5. Recent achievements include:  helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
6. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org