Captivity: Revisiting the River Kwai

Sally Grumbridge

17 March – 4 April 2021 

Artists workshop/talks: Dates TBC

75 years after the end of World War II, Sally Grumbridge, a visual artist, revisits her father’s wartime experiences as a Far East Prisoner of War in Singapore and working on the Thai Burma Railway.

A solo exhibition of contemporary paintings and prints by Sally Grumbridge, exploring a personal history: one man’s experiences as a Far East Prisoner of War, in Singapore and then the Thailand-Burma Railway & the ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’. The work does not deal, however, with the horror of captivity but with hope and survival.

Sally’s strong yet poignant work, part figurative, part abstract, takes its inspiration from her own visual experiences in Thailand and Singapore, memories of her father’s stories and the entries from his war-time journal together with other primary sources. In tandem with her work, there will be an exhibition of photographs, original drawings made by POWs, her father’s personal effects and a brief history of the building of the railway and the FEPOW story.

Sally Grumbridge’s exhibition, Captivity : Revisiting the River Kwai, combines new work with paintings and prints first shown in 2006 in her solo exhibition ‘Relative Journeys: River Kwai Revisited’, about which Jack Chalker (1918-2014), the British war artist and former FEPOW wrote:

  “I had been wondering how [Sally] would approach [her] Thai experiences translated through [her] Father’s experiences and I feel they are a great success… How odd these mixed extremes of terror and happiness. I hope others who were not there will understand. This says a great deal for [Sally’s] understanding sensitive translation“.
Jack Chalker May 2008

Sally Grumbridge is a visual artist who specialises in oil painting and mixed media. She is also a printmaker. She is based in West London, where she has her studio and also teaches printmaking part time. She has a first class BA (Hons) in Art for Community from the University of Surrey and studied Graphic and Experimental printmaking at the London College of Communications (part of the University of Arts London). She has exhibited and sold regularly in solo and group shows throughout London and the UK, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. She has also shown in exhibitions in France, Italy and Spain. Her work is in private collections as far afield as Canada, Australia, the UK and several European countries.