Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Doodle Dreamer
Doodle Dreamer

© the artist. Photo credit: Bushey Museum and Art Gallery

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Self portrait of Douglas Chowns as a child in school uniform with a gas mask and collaged identity documentation.

Bushey Museum and Art Gallery



Doodle Dreamer




oil on canvas


H 110 x W 75.5 cm

Accession number

BUSMT 2016.66

Acquisition method

gift, 2016

Work type


Inscription description

Verso: A reflection on the pressures of growing up in war in Bushey - and post war times. The denied schooling, rationed food and clothes, poverty from the effect of day and night Blitz. Retired pensioners, our volunteer teachers all bony tobacco fingered old men while all the young were away fighting. An American bombing raid still on the library wall when the school building was returned by the USAF. Years of sleeping in a dug out shelter in the garden, automatically falling flat and covering ones head in a gutter or anywhere at the sound of a Doodle Bug V1. My black shiny tin gas mask case we were required to carry, getting dented on hitting the pavement as an unmanned flying bomb passed above less than 300 feet over my head, I was age seven. Called "Canaries" on account of our local snobby yellow Kingsfield Prep School caps. 2,572 bombs fell in 1940 alone, within a mile of my home. The LMS railway and Arches a target, but Bushey no. The fields peppered with bomb craters, the destroyed Church Lynch gate and High Street homes all victim night and day to enemy aircraft, V1 doodle bugs, and V2' rockets. Am I bitter? - yes, of course. This self portrait wearing my only clothes, my school uniform, when we wore wellies collecting shrapnel and exploring bomb damaged houses. A Polio arm band echoes other paintings in this series of 12. All featured appropriate modern arm bands, the 1994 series based on the Druid bog man found in Cheshire, a Fox totem on his arm his sacrificial death to stop the Roman advance. The Greek eponymous Dying Gaul pose featured in many. A Bushey & Oxhey Crusader bible class badge in my lapel, my Godly protection. My war time Identity card, and my later RAF official secrets act declaration that threatened death if I divulged official secrets, and although when demobilised a military 24 hour reserve travel warrant, to be used in emergency. Then the Cold War. Pressures I never wish our grandchildren or others to experience. A disaster for all WW2 caused suffering to all ordinary people and nations throughout Europe and the world. My concern the subject of this painting is that nothing appears to have been learned in 2000 years.


This artwork does not have any tags yet. You can help by tagging artworks on Tagger.

Bushey Museum and Art Gallery

Rudolph Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire WD23 3HW England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue