A History of Thunder

29 February - 24 March 2016

Featuring Michael Petry’s installation Joshua D’s Wall and works relating to the subject of war by:

John Copley, Ethel Gabain, Charles Ginner, Eric Kennington, Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson Eric Ravilious, Eric Robertson, Walter Sickert, Percy Smith, John Souter and Graham Sutherland.


As the First and Second World Wars were taking place, artists that experienced the impact of those years of war at first hand - either by enlisting or by becoming official war artists - felt the necessity of finding a new visual language to describe the many aspects of those unprecedented events.

Alongside the poignant wall-based works the exhibition presents an installation by gallery artist, Michael Petry. Reflecting his interest in contemporary aspects of the classical world,Joshua D’s Wall is inspired from the creation myth of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, which is found in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah. 


The installation is made up of hand-crafted glass stones, made at the Berengo glass studios in Murano, Italy. Commissioned by the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2012, sections of the original 250 stone piece have been exhibited in Venice, Houston, Santa Fe and Stockholm.

Mirroring Joshua’s mythic destruction of the city walls of Jericho on instruction by God, as each stone is sold, the installation is slowly destroyed in a fittingly powerful statement referencing both classical and religious mythology and contemporary geo-political conflict. 

The exhibition coincides with the world premiere performance of A Prussian Requiem (Powell: score, Petry: libretto) at the Royal Festival Hall. The requiem will feature on The Philharmonia Orchestra’s First World War Commemoration Concert on Sunday 6 March 2016. Composer and Academy Award nominee John Powell and Michael Petry have worked on the performance, opera and installation for over 25 years.