Lest we forget… art to remember
Art Makers at the Centre have been exploring their own family history through a beautiful new community art project.
In St Wilfrid’s Church in Harrogate, 17 men are named on their war memorial plaque. To commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Church was keen to tell the stories of some of those men. Their plan was to research and then display their history, but to make it more engaging by adding multi sensory elements. They wanted to use music, lighting, and even incorporate scent, such as rosemary, the traditional herb for remembrance. When they approached our Arts & Crafts Centre about creating an art piece for the space we knew we could make something everyone would enjoy.
At Henshaws, the process of creating art is just as important as the final piece. With Art Makers with different levels of engagement too, we were excited at the challenge of a group piece everyone could get involved with. Our Jewellery, Pottery and Woodwork workshops were just the groups to take this forwards, and came up with a fantastic concept. An overall freestanding piece was envisaged, with wire and ceramic poppies hung within a frame. The whole project was inspired by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, and the Woodwork group eagerly got started on the frame.
In the Jewellery workshop, poppy wire shapes were prepared, ready for embellishing. Art Makers were encouraged and supported to wrap the shapes with red wire, and then infilled the shapes by weaving the wire across. To finish, black beads or buttons were added to the centre. Each Art Maker had their own take on this; like snowflakes, no two poppies are alike!
Meanwhile, in the Pottery studio, clay was being rolled, shapes cut, and carefully painted. This project included Art Makers with complex needs as part of the creative process, alongside more independent Art Makers too. Throughout the creation of poppies, Art Makers and staff all talked about their family history, and what poppies meant to them.
Poppies remind me of my Great Grandad. He was a soldier in the First World War."
Rebecca, Art Maker, Jewellery Work
Poppies are for Remembrance Day to remember the soldiers."
Maxine, Art Maker, Pottery Workshop
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
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