Winterline – Castello Pandone, Venafro, Molise, Italy

The works in the series ‘Winterline’ address land as location and site, where lives are lived and lost. They document and explore the impact of conflict upon territory, from its essence as soil, rock and vegetation to its utilisation in the strategies of warfare.
This project started out with the motivation of producing a range of visual images which would  stimulate consideration of the effect of sustained conflict upon territory and terrain.
Elaine Shemilt researched the events leading up to, during and after the period of conflict from Autumn 1943 to Spring 1944 in central Italy. ‘Winterline’ now exists as a tool which can be used by people to think about and respond to the events of this historical period.
The research involved collating existing texts from the USA, UK, France and Italy, meeting people living in the area, explaining the purpose of the project to them and learning their knowledge of events and locations. Starting in 2011 and continuing to today, Elaine Shemilt and Deirdre MacKenna walked over the territory of research during all seasons of the year to visit the locations of events and see what impact these had upon the territory. These walks became a way of passing knowledge from one person to another with Shemilt and MacKenna initially absorbing specific and personal stories and gradually exchanging the knowledge they had gained from their research with the individuals they met on their walks. This collective knowledge was in turn passed to increasing numbers of people.
Thus, the period of formation of ‘Winterline’ was enabled by a collective effort, with sustained periods of research and exchange with the team at the Winterline Museum, Venafro, and members of Iap’ca Iap’ca, Filignano.
Shemilt’s works use processes of drawing, print, montage and collage to build up multi-layered images which evoke the nature of the mountain territory and explore the legacy of conflict upon territory. Until 1943, the terrain had been home to families living as individual workers of their land within clusters of houses, some big enough to be called villages; their locations and lifelines determined by the contours of the hillsides.
This same area became known the world as the Winter Line and the Gustav Line, location of one of the hardest won and most costly campaigns during WWII.
The conflict led to the abandonment of ancient highways, cultivated land and communities which today remain hidden from view, obscured by dense foliage, populated only by the detritus of hand to hand conflict; ammunition canisters, grenades, belts and buckles can still be found amongst machine-gun emplacements and burrow-like trenches etched deeply into the landscape.

© Cultural Documents

http://www.culturaldocuments.net/story/winterline/

 

Elaine Shemilt
‘Manoeuvre I’
Woodcut, screen print on paper
Edition of three
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Manoeuvre IV’
Woodcut, screen print on paper
Edition of three
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Manoeuvre III’
Woodcut, screen print on paper
Edition of three
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Manoeuvre II’
Woodcut, screen print on paper
Edition of three
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Sketch for Woodcut II’
Collaged mixed media on paper
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Sketch for Woodcut I’
Collaged mixed media on paper
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cervaro’
Etching on paper
Edition of eight
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘La Chiaia’
Etching on paper
Edition of eight
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Opening the Corridor’
Etching on paper
Edition of eight
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Advance IV Corps’
Etching on paper
Edition of eight
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cardito to Cerasuolo, study 3’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cardito to Cerasuolo, study 2’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cardito to Cerasuolo, study 1’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘September’
Oil and mixed media on card
Collezione Angela e Tonino Buono
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cardito’
Oil and mixed media on card.
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Descent towards San Pietro’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Monte Marrone – Ascent’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

detail:
Elaine Shemilt
‘Descent towards San Pietro’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

detail:
Elaine Shemilt
‘Monte Marrone – Ascent’
Oil and mixed media on card
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cooking Pots 1’
Mixed media drawing on paper
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Cooking Pots 2’
Mixed media drawing on paper
2014
© Cultural Documents 2014

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 9’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 3’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 4’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 2’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 1’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 8’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 7’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 13’
Collaged mixed media on paper
33x26cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 15’
Collaged mixed media on paper
33x26cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 16’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 19’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 11’
Collaged mixed media on paper
33x26cm, framed in wood
Collezione Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Italia
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 18’
Collaged mixed media on paper
33x26cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 10’
Collaged mixed media on paper
26x33cm, framed in wood
2015
© Cultural Documents

Elaine Shemilt
‘Winterline Sketches 12’
Collaged mixed media on paper
33x26cm, framed in wood
2014
© Cultural Documents