Children from local schools are contributing to a global art project that is spreading the memory of the Great War, the fallen and their families. The project is crossing borders and generations, and communicating the message through the medium of clay.
200 local school children were encouraged to create a respectful, artistic memory for the victims of the Great War, at a Westminster City Council event, at Horseferry Road Reserve Centre, on 15 and 16 May. They were joined by the Belgian Ambassador, Guy Trouveroy, Westminster’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Rachael Robathan, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Steve Summers and officers from the centre.
Staff from the Belgian arts organisations, Kunst and Combat, led the Coming World Remember Me workshop, their first international session to involve school children. They are overseeing the creation of 600,000 sculptures, each representing the life of a soldier, or civilian, who died or was fatally wounded in and around Ypres, Belgium, between 1914 and 1918.
The children’s unique fist sized sculptures will be part of the project’s 600,000 works, all of which will make up a public land art installation at the site of the wartime no man’s land in Ypres. The installation will be opened in 2018, a full century after the end of the Great War.
At the end of the session each of the children’s sculptures was baked in a kiln. The figures were individually dog tagged, displaying the name of a fallen soldier or civilian on one side and the name of the child who created it on the other.
A Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be hosting the first CWRM workshop involving UK school children. It was wonderful to see local year six pupils engaging with the project and contributing to a global initiative that looks to ensure that the sacrifice and loss of the Great War will be remembered.”