The Cobbler


My brief... to create a piece of art that reflected the life of John - a beloved Uncle lost in WWI


John was an unassuming fellow who had not yet married, was a cobbler by trade and who loved to play tennis.

He went to war in 1917 aged 23 and was sadly killed 2 years later in one of the many battles on Flander’s Field in 1919.
No physical mementos of Johns life were available, apart from the studio portrait shown. 


This piece was such a pleasure to create and really pulled the heart strings.
I began with a painting of John. Done in simple sepia colours mirroring the photography of the day.
The leather strap represents his trade as a cobbler, with the coin nailed with taks onto the strap dated the year of his death.
The jagged leather segment running diagonally across the bottom of the piece is stamped with ‘Private’, John’s rank in the Army.
The first lines of the poem “In Flanders Field” are written at the top of the composition along with the famous poppies from the field .
The broken clock symbolises the time that was stolen from him.
The entire composition is held within an old tennis racket frame - a token from favourite past-time.

Personally - I love this piece. It is full of symbolism and I believe John’s family would enjoy the glance at a single piece of art, that has so many memories alive within it. 


  • facebook-square
  • flickr-square
  • Twitter Square

© 2014 by Diana Nicholson-Plank