Completely free to view in public parks, streets and city centres, the exhibition brings us the story of reconciliation across the lands of the warring nations. Once places of devastating violence, we now see landscapes of great beauty, testament to peace and remembrance.
With a focus on education and ideal for adults and children alike, this engaging exhibition features meticulously researched content including archive images and fascinating facts to support Michael’s contemporary battlefield images.
Visited by more than four million people to date in the UK, France and as far afield as Turkey, Fields of Battle is perhaps the most viewed exhibition of the centenary period.
Click to the right for a video profile of the exhibition as it appeared in Guildhall Yard, London, between June 1st and July 3rd 2016.
Featuring interviews with Photographer Mike Sheil and Historian Sir Hew Strachan, this short video also includes moving public feedback together with schoolchildrens' thoughts on the exhibition and the First World War itself.
Forming part of Belfast City Council’s wider ‘Decade Of Centenaries: Reflections On 1916’ programme, Fields of Battle Lands of Peace will be outside Belfast City Hall until
Click to the right to view a short video.
(There is a delay of around 12 seconds before the video starts).
You have made an effort to contextualise your work. It is clear that your aim was not only to create art but also to engage with the military history of the sites you captured on film.
Did this affect how you approached your photography?
I used to be a commercial photographer but am now studying for an MA in military history.
I've totally changed direction and I'm enjoying it. The exhibition that we have in Belfast and just had in London includes 19,000 words of captions - I wrote every single one.
This all began when I first met Richard Holmes and began discussing the project. He advised me that I had to have two things: The location and some hold: a person or a story that was related to that place.
To commemorate the Battle of the Somme and to remember the 3,500 brave men from the City who lost their lives, Fields of Battle - Lands of Peace 14-18 was on display at London's Guildhall between June 1st and July 3rd 2016.
Click the button above to help us raise the necessary funds to ensure Fields of Battle and commemoration of The First World War reaches as many people as possible in their own communities throughout the United Kingdom.
Fields of Battle 14-18 is registered as a not-for-profit charity in the UK.
Can you help us raise the funds we need to tell the story of the men who lost their lives a century ago?
View a short video on the inspiration behind Michael St Maur Sheil's journey capturing the emotional and historical heritage of landscapes which witnessed the monumental events of the
First World War.
Fields of Battle - Lands of Peace 14-18 does not seek to explain the history of the First World War, but rather seeks to introduce people to the subject by revealing some of the landscapes of battle and illustrating the stories of the people who experienced those battles. It does so in a uniquely powerful manner, by bringing these events to people in their own communities via the medium of a free to view outdoor exhibition featuring the work of Michael St Maur Sheil.
"Our vision is to commemorate The Centenary by promoting the significance, within families, locally, nationally, and internationally, of the seismic social changes The First World War has triggered over the last century. Recent surveys on public attitudes to The First World War reveal that *59% of UK citizens have visited a local war memorial, although seven in ten people do not know what their relatives did during the war...
It is precisely this gap between interest and understanding of community and familial roles and changes in the War, that our photographs and interpretations are designed to address”.
Jonathan Prince - Chief Executive Fields of Battle 14-18 Charitable Trust
Source: *YouGov, Survey of citizenship teachers (with Citizenship Foundation)