Paddy Hartley has focused on the stories of Walter Yeo and William Vicarage who were both injured at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Tracing the families of both men, Paddy has created eight artworks in response to each man's extraordinary life story, and whose surgery fundamentally advanced the way in which facial reconstructive surgery was performed.
Walter Ernest O'Neil Yeo
Paddy has made four works inspired by Walter Yeo, known as the Yeo Tetraptych. These can be seen in the 'Jutland' exhibition, and on the Great Map.
The son of a sailor, Yeo trained for the Royal Navy at the Royal Hospital School Greenwich before serving in the First World War. He suffered severe burns to his face at the Battle of Jutland. Sir Harold Gillies performed reconstructive surgery and Yeo returned to the Navy for the rest of the war.
Paddy's work inspired by Vicarage can be seen in the 'Forgotten Fighters' gallery.
Vicarage was a watchmaker from Swansea before joining the Navy, and was 19 when he served at Jutland. During the battle, William suffered severe burns to his face and hands, and became the first patient to undergo the pioneering 'tubed-pedicle' method of skin grafting.
About Paddy Hartley
Paddy Hartley is a London based artist and Artist in Residence at the National Maritime Museum. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Tissue Engineering & Biophotonics King's College London. His artistic practice investigates themes including memorialisation and remembrance, the origins of WW1 facial reconstruction and the lives of those who underwent the surgery. His work has taken the form of biotissue manipulation and assembly, digital photography, digital embroidery, installation, ceramic, and garment assemblage. Paddy’s work is collected by institutions including Wellcome Collection, Museum of Arts and Design New York and the Museum of Art, Design and Architecture Oslo, Norway.
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