The Somerset Poppies will involve over 3500 children, every child in every school in and around Wells, in creating a public installation of artiﬁcial poppies, which will be displayed at Bishop’s Palace, Wells, in November 2018.
Each poppy will represent a serviceman from Somerset, or who served in a Somerset regiment, who lost his life in World War One.
The poppies will be on public display for a minimum of two weeks, during which time my aim is to engage members of the public from across the county and from a wide range of backgrounds in the appreciation of collaborative artwork but also of county-speciﬁc heritage.
I aim to work with children in every school in the Wells area to create an installation of over 8000 poppies, made by children aged between 4 and 16, which will represent the losses from the county during the First World War.
The poppies will be made using a wire stem and synthetic petals (see image below of a ‘mock-up of 20 poppies, currently displayed at Wells Museum).
They will be planted on the croquet lawn at Bishop’s Palace in Wells, on public display, and will create a stunning and moving art piece to commemorate 100 years since the end of the conﬂict.
The Benefits for the Children Involved
My hope is that, as well as physically making each poppy, the children involved will take a huge amount of pride in being part of such a poignant and large scale art event.
The poppies have been designed to be simple enough for children of all ages to make (with some adult support for younger children) and one of my key aims is that every child in the area will have the opportunity to take part.
Not only will this be an inspirational installation, but it will also demonstrate a strong historical and community link, involving children in remembrance as well as engaging members of the public from a wide range of backgrounds in art, through appreciation and experience.
Inspired by the Blood Stained Lands and Seas of Red display by Paul Cummings and Rob Heard’s Shrouds of the Somme, this project will also involve all children in the appreciation of current artwork by contemporary artists.