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Crown Poster (widows and orphans)


Crown Poster (widows and orphans)
Henningham Family Press
Edition 15
screenprint, foil debossing, graphite
20 x 15in
£200 (£368 framed)

Acquired by Saison Poetry Library (Royal Festival Hall)

Crown Poster (widows and orphans), is from our An Unknown Soldier project, which ruminates on the meaning of a memorial to an unknown soldier in the age of DNA testing. Does he now embody our desire to ignore the past, rather than remember?

In this project we use three bespoke Trench fonts to evoke the anatomy of trench warfare and, using old-fashioned paper sizes, we have alluded to call-up posters, papers, and martial instruction manuals. The block letters are topped with patterns similar to those found in security envelopes.

Crown Poster says: “Master path-smith/ One foot a hammer/ The other an anvil” The Crown is traditionally supposed to protect widows and orphans, but this mental image of a king clumsily treading a path through the fields suggests bad government, and in WW1 the world’s leaders did indeed increase the number of widows and orphans. These unfortunates are present here as typographical errors, ‘widows’ and ‘orphans’ being the technical nicknames for words stranded at the beginning or end of columns of text.