Running alongside the popular war comics exhibition “Into Battle!”, the Waterloo Cartoon by Shaun Maloney is now on display at the county’s military history museum until 30 April 2024.
The incredibly detailed sketch depicts scenes from the 1815 Battle of Waterloo and is based on the 19th-century original by Daniel Maclise, on display in the House of Lords.
Alongside the sketches, the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum has dipped into its archives to display several objects and artwork of the Waterloo era, many rarely seen on public display.
These include items of the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Light Infantry who fought in the historic battle – some historians arguing they played a pivotal role in defeating Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. Supporting panels from the National Army Museum provide visitors with the context behind the battle itself.
Artist Shaun is a veteran himself, having served a long and varied career in the British Army, including the Falkland Islands, mainland Europe, Bosnia and Kosovo, Northern Ireland and the Far East.
With a strong sense of social responsibility, he now uses art, alongside his coaching experience, to help others overcome trauma, physical pain and damaging thinking patterns. Drawing is a tool Shaun often uses.
Shaun explains, “Drawing has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. In recent years, I have used mindful drawing to steady my own mental health as well as helping others.
“There is a special gift that drawing gives us, and for me, it’s being able to focus on just one thing at that one moment in time.
“When I’m drawing, time is immaterial. Hours pass without any intrusive thoughts entering my mind.
“To help with this meditative process, I tend to draw finely detailed pieces. I love to be able to get right into the detail and discover those things only really close looking can see”.
Alongside the exhibition, Shaun is running two art workshops for visitors looking to build their own confidence in drawing or develop their skills, the first on 17 February and the second on 13 April 2024.
Open to all ages, from children aged ten years up to adults, the workshops will encourage attendees to express their own creativity while casting an analytical eye over historical visual sources such as the original Waterloo Cartoon.
While visitors can drop in to see the exhibition any time the museum is open, spaces on the workshops are limited, with tickets available now from the museum’s website and via Eventbrite.
Following the exhibition, Shaun is also kindly donating his Waterloo Cartoon as the grand prize in Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust’s 10th Anniversary raffle.
The proceeds will support the charity’s continued work at the museum in Woodstock, preserving the county’s military heritage and sharing Oxfordshire people’s stories of conflict and peace.