Heartfelt Messages

By | Category: Travel news
one of the creators with staff at the national Arboretum

Heartfelt Messages at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire

This is the name of a new mass-participation art installation that commemorates the sacrifice made by the British Armed Forces, and their families at home during the Battle of Passchendaele.

It is being created at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and forms part of the Arboretum’s programme of events to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Anyone can get involved and the concept is based around origami, that paper-folding skill that everybody has to some extent.

“Heartfelt Messages” by Nicola Colclough and Naja Baji aims to capture the spirit in which messages of love are sent between those on the front line and their families at home, asking thousands of people to help produce the artwork; crafting the origami hearts and hand writing messages when they visit the Arboretum. The completed hearts are being combined into an imposing installation in the Arboretum grounds.

This builds on the success of the hugely popular Somme: En Masse installation that graced the Arboretum last year, featuring thousands of decorated wooden soldiers, each one commemorating a soldier who fell on the first day of the Somme. ‘Heartfelt Messages’ will be on display until 10 November 2017 so you have just over five weeks to contribute.

The Battle of Passchendaele, was one of the most significant battles of the First World War and its notoriously muddy conditions directly led to the loss of lives as soldiers drowned in the quagmire caused by extensive shelling. Maintaining the morale of soldiers was critical and written communications with loved ones at home was a crucial part of this. No-one knows how many troops on both sides died during the battle but figures of between 400,000 and 600,000 seem likely. Those letters, postcards and packages meant a lot to the troops as I personally know from stories told within my family.

In recreating the theme of many of those  messages and exhibiting them for all to see, the National Arboretum reminds us one again, of the sacrifices that particular generation made during WWI.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,