Commission for British Military, Helmand province, Afghanistan
The painting was commissioned and completed in very short time scales due to the redeployment of forces on the ground and Francesca was under significant time pressure to complete the painting. She deployed to Helmand a high threat environment for 10 days to research the project, capture the atmospherics and take photographs. Of note, she deployed to Sangin the most dangerous part of Helmand that was routinely threatened by local Taliban active cells for a key security meeting with the US Marine Corps Commander and Senior British Officers with the local Afghan Police and Military Officers. Throughout the commission Francesca was highly professional and totally dedicated to capturing the right scene / event. The painting was first class, achieving great accolades by all; as well as achieving all the objectives we set. It was her professionalism, artistic capability, emotional intelligence and robustness that underpinned her success. She was able to engage and rapidly put at ease all ranks and personnel from both the UK, US and Afghan Security Services. She never flapped and was most apt at blending in and capturing the atmospherics rather than stage managing for effect. Francesca is totally dedicated to her profession and is a most engaging, enthusiastic and inquisitive person who was held in high regard by all who saw her work in Helmand. The picture now hangs in the Officers Mess of the US Marine Corps in Quantico.