The Posting Sentries Art Project is a unique undertaking by War Department, a British street artist and, as far as we are aware, is the first large scale art project of its kind.
All over the United Kingdom there are wartime structures that have been lost underneath the sprawl of today’s society. Not only are the structures lost, but the events and people connected to them have been lost as well. Airfields, bunkers, coastal batteries, air raid shelters, observation points and many other structures lay hidden from the view of the 21st century. Structures from the two world wars and the more recent cold war have left their marks on both the urban and rural environments of the UK. To ensure that today’s population will remember the stories and people behind these decaying structures, WD began posting ‘sentries’ as a way of connecting with the past. These ‘sentries’ take the form of sprayed stencil art, pasted paper murals, or specially created sculpted pieces.
Before each sentry is ‘posted’, every site is carefully researched by WD to ensure that he creates artwork that will reflect an accurate and faithful representation of the structure’s original purpose. Sentries are not posted on sites that are being maintained or are of special historic interest. Each site presents different challenges – access to some sites can be tricky whereas others may be exposed to extreme weather. These challenges determine what sort of artwork is used. Sheltered areas lend themselves to pasted paper murals while storm battered areas are more suited to sprayed stencils.
Each piece of art is created by hand. Screen printing, painting, and hand cut stencils are the primary methods used in creating the sentries, and special care is taken to use substrates that have a low impact on the environment.