From Dr. Nathan J. Waddell:
Lewis had two roles during the First World War that subsequently forced him to confront the very thing that warfare in all its violent immediacy seems to prevent, but which he held up as an ideal throughout his career: contemplativeness. The roles were Lewis’s posting in 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and his subsequent employment as a War Artist for the British and Canadian governments. The Vorticist aesthetic Lewis elaborated in his pre-war paintings and in the journal BLAST (1914-15) made a virtue of contemplation. Detachment was needed if artists were to represent the world in ways that gave it new and newly modern meanings.