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Dawn Cole

Dawn Cole is an award winning artist and independent curator who works from her studio in Birchington, Kent.  Cole uses archives as the starting point for developing projects and for the past few years has been making work in response to the archive of First World War VAD Nurse Clarice Spratling

Clarice’s archive was discovered in her parent’s attic.  It transpired to belong to a great aunt who headed to France to become a nurse, and who believed at one point that 'In time of war everyone has an idea that they ought either to join the Army or Navy and if they are unfortunate enough to belong to the female sex, ammunition work or nursing!'. (Clarice Spratling diary, 1915)


Winner of the V&A prize at the international print biennale 2011, and shortlisted for 2013 Arts Foundation Award, Dawn Cole has been developing her ‘Resting Place’ project since the beginning of 2012.  The first project to come from the archive, 'Reading Between the Lines', earned her international acclaim with the work being exhibited in Japan, France and around the UK. The print 'Amputations Etc' was acquired for the  V&A Museum permanent collection and is now accompanied by an essay on the V&A website.


Cole began developing the idea for 'Resting Place' after a research trip to the war graves cemetery in Wimereux, France. Many of the men buried in the cemetery died in the military hospitals that had been set up in this small village, just outside Boulogne.

'Amputations Etc' V&A Museum permanent collection

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