The Great Gun of Latmos, Chris Foss Portfolio, Paper Tiger. London 1991.
Approximate dimensions of original painting
100 x 90 cm. 41 x 35 inches
Illustration board, acrylic paint, air & paint brush
From the age of six Chris loved to cycle around Guernsey on his own exploring the fortifications along the Guernsey coast. In the summer school holidays he would sit for hours drawing the towers and bunkers.
The tower situated at Le chouet was his favourite because at that time it was ‘a beautiful isolated headland and the tower looked down on a exotic flooded quarry’. Permutations of the Le Chouet tower and quarry appear in many guises throughout Chris artwork one being [title and link to follow].
‘Sadly the states of Guernsey demolished the tower and turned what was a beautiful lake in the quarry into the islands waste dump. Rendering the headland unusable due to the stench of the dump’.
The Great Gun of Latmos is a modification of one of the buildings which constituted the Mirus battery: three sighting towers along the Guernsey coast and four big gun emplacements. Named after a German officer, it was part of a scheme to bring great guns from Russia to Guernsey.
In this painting Chris imagines what one of the gun emplacements could have looked like in a surrealistic landscape. In the distance you can see an exaggerated version of Fort Saumarez. At the end of the Word War II the technology didn’t exist to cut the guns up and they stood rusting until sometime early in the 1950’s a gas oxyacetylene was discovered. The guns were then cut up for scrap metal and removed. Here Chris imagines extraterrestrial scouts looking to recover scrap metal examining the site.
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Owned by Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery:
Candie Gardens, St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 1UG
Chris answers questions on Flash Gordon