18th November 2021 — A cascade of vibrant poppies has been installed as a mark of remembrance for Armistice Day, from the roof of the Steam Hub, at Talbot Heath school. Thanks to the initiative of art teachers Miss Coates and Mrs Hodge, the 15 metre long Wall of Remembrance, has been an opportunity to include the whole school: students, staff, and even prospective pupils. Mrs Hodge said, ‘We wanted the whole school to become engaged with the process and take ownership of the installation, making the symbolism relevant for them.’ Adding, ‘It has been an important process, both creatively and educationally, where girls have taken the time to discuss the meaning behind the flowers and think about the lives lost in conflict.’
Head fundraiser, of the Royal British Legion, Andy Taylor-Whyte had seen images of the cascade on social media and requested that his film for South Today be held in front of it, with members of the school community present, to be broadcast on Armistice Day, to the thousands of volunteers who raise funds through the Poppy Appeal each year.
The piece was inspired by previous commemorative art installations such as the knitters of Anglesey, Guy's Cliffe Walled Garden and also the Tower of London in 2014, named Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which saw the moat filled with thousands of ceramic poppies. TH pupils from Kindergarten to Sixth Form contributed to the stunning art installation, which includes approximately 1500 poppies, amongst them, purple poppies, to also remember the animals [mainly horses and dogs] that lost their lives in war.
Regarding the finished installation after weeks of work, Miss Coates said, ‘It has been an honour to be able to make my vision a reality but I could not have made it happen without a very dedicated team of staff, students, parents and ex-pupils. This has been an incredible team effort to commemorate and show our respects to all those who have fought on our behalf. I am humbled to have members of my own family who have fought for our country, this is in honour of those incredibly brave people.’
Lest we forget.