Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

In pictures: Combating trauma

A woman looking at artwork

An art exhibition displaying work by ex-servicemen, many of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, aims to raise awareness about the psychological injuries suffered by some veterans.

Artwork: Cell, by Mike Lyons

The exhibition, run by mental health charity Together and veterans' charity Combat Stress, displays work produced by ex-service personnel in art therapy sessions at Tyrwhitt House, in Surrey.

Artwork: Recycled Hero, by Rob Thorne

Some 27 artists have contributed to the exhibition. The aim of art therapy is to provide an opportunity for veterans to make sense of their experiences.

Artwork: Prisoner of Time, by Eddie Gray

Ex-serviceman Eddie Gray said Prisoner of Time reflected memories so strong that "sometimes the past is more real than the present". He said he could still hear people "calling out and screaming".

Artwork: Cradle to the Grave

This artwork, created anonymously and entitled Cradle to the Grave, is among a number of pieces that point to the sense of frustration and pain felt by some traumatised veterans.

A woman looking at artwork

Veterans affected by trauma, from the British Army, Royal Navy, RAF, Merchant Navy and the reserves, aged between 30 and 86, have contributed to the exhibition, which also includes poems.

A picture

"It began by trying to win hearts and minds before the madness started," said the unnamed artist behind this drawing, referring to experiences of conflict.

Artwork: Rejects (image: Anatol Just)

"At times I felt as if I would be doing everyone a favour by going somewhere quiet and dropping dead," said Eddie Gray of this sketch, which is simply entitled Rejects.

A painting

HMS Sheffield sank after it was hit by an Argentine exocet missile during the Falklands War, in 1982. Bones Bartlett, whose painting Alone depicts the attack, was on board at the time.

Artwork: Ghosts of the Past, by Peter Ormes

Former soldier Peter Ormes said: "Memories of the past haunt the present and can take you to dark places. Sometimes the only way to blank it out is by drinking, but the memories always come back."

Artwork: We Will Remember Them, by Ron Hudson

Ron Hudson, who started attending Combat Stress sessions in 2001, said painting provides a form of relaxation and boosts his self-esteem.



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