HAVERFORDWEST’s VC Gallery will open their annual exhibition to commemorate Remembrance Day this week at a new gallery building.

More than 150 artists including veterans, serving soldiers, school children, the elderly, and more have contributed an estimated 200 paintings and sculptures to the exhibition, which is now in its fifth year.

“We have got work here as a part of the legacy of the VC Gallery, as well as works from August to now we have done in our activity workshops,” said Barry John, the gallery’s founder.

“This is not just about Armistice but it is about making people understand about the services and the forces’ community as a whole.

“All this work is bringing together a biographical picture from the First World War to Northern Ireland, to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also talking about the alternative activity that we can bring in like war poetry,” he added.

Paintings include “Dear John” by Scott Bennett, a serviceman currently in the Royal Welsh Regiment.

The canvas shows the simple silhouette of a soldier with his head bowed, after having received a letter from his wife saying she can no longer take the pain of being separated.

Another piece by Cardiff-based Rachael Jones is a collage of a soldier’s face made from first-class postage stamps of all different colours, based on a photograph of Barry John.

The gallery’s founder’s work is also on display. His painting “The Fury of Mametz”, an image of skeletal trees, has a texture which stands out from the canvas to represent the pieces shrapnel still found in the fields of northern France today, 100 years after the First World War.

There are also works on show by a close friend of the gallery, Danny King, who died unexpectedly earlier this year.

“Danny was well-regarded in the community and at every exhibition we do now, we bring along a piece of his work so he is with us all the time,” said Barry.

The former-soldier turned charity organiser was presented with a community award by the Pride of Britain awards earlier this year, and attended a ceremony in London to accept it.

“It was great to have recognition for what I am doing in the community and for what we are doing in Pembrokeshire.

“I am the frontman for this, but we have got a team of dedicated people in the community that should be recognised – not just myself.

“Some have come from a really dark place and are now helping people themselves.”

“They should all be recommended for awards,” said Barry.

The VC Gallery’s Art of Remembrance opens at 7pm on Thursday, November 9, at the former Store 21 shop, 26 Bridge Street, Haverfordwest.