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'Legs', 2013

Oil on board by Captain Harry Parker (1983-), 2013.

Depiction of two prosthetic legs in an Italian landscape.

Harry Parker studied Art before he joined the Army in 2006. Serving with The Rifles, he lost both legs when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), while leading a foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2009. Parker painted 'Legs' during a painting trip in Italy in 2013. He had not painted in years and this was the moment he realised he could still paint and that there were other options open to him other than being a soldier.

The painting is a play on standing in a landscape, looking at the absence of a person in a landscape. Harry's prosthetic legs are linked to the way he feels about himself and the idea of his identity. His relationship with the equipment he uses for his rehabilitation and his prosthetics is a complex one. Harry feels they give him freedom but also constant pain; they can feel like a prison, as much of his identity, for others, are his legs.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 2020-09-7-1-1


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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