Bank Street Gallery

Bank Street Gallery

Alfred Leete is perhaps a forgotten artist to many of us now, but his work is iconic.  Everyone immediately identifies Lord Kitchener in Leete’s recruitment poster of August 1914. Earning a living as a commercial artist, producing drawings for Punch, Tatler and many more, he also designed advertisements for established brands such as Rowntree’s, Cadbury and Guinness.  The psychology of a poster had not been considered by the British military, to any great extent, before this.  Lord Kitchener, however, anticipated the conflict that had been brewing in Europe. He imagined that any conflict with Germany by the British could well be long-drawn-out.  As the first serving soldier to hold the post of Secretary of State for War, perhaps he knew something.

With war declared on the 4th, Leete’s poster was displayed the very next day on the cover of London Opinion, a weekly magazine in the capital.  So began Leete’s work as a war time propagandist.  He died in 1933.

In commemoration of the First World War, some of Bank Street Gallery’s most popular exhibitors return collaboratively to present their own bespoke tributes in this centenary year.  Anne Smith, John Johnstone, Audrey Dargie, Barbara Robertson and many others will bring their eclectic styles to this special and very moving show.  Forfar’s recently retired Sheriff Veal commented, “This is a very worthwhile venture.”  Owner, Susie Clark, reported her humility at the response she received when she mooted the idea of such an exhibition last year.  “One of the best things that has happened to me since I opened the Gallery, is meeting many fabulous people – both artists and visitors.  That so many renowned artists were keen to take part when I know they are so busy..... it’s not easy making a living through your art and I just think it’s fabulous that they want to support the Gallery in what I consider to be a very important exhibition.  In years to come, I am certain that some of the work of those who are exhibiting, will prove as iconic as that of Leete.”

the show runs from friday 8th august until friday 19th September 2014 - check the website for opening times –