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Ceramic medals feature in new National Memorial Arboretum art installation

A new art installation at the National Memorial Arboretum marking the centenary of the First World War will feature 100 ceramic medals.

The ceramic medals featuring in the art installation
The ceramic medals featuring in the art installation

It has been created by artist Clare Twomey and is the culmination of four years of commemoration at the Alrewas venue.

She held a drop in session at the Armistice Day event last year where people were asked to think about the qualities and achievements they hope can be commended in the next 100 years.

These have been glazed onto 100 ceramic medals which are displayed on wooden benches as a memento of this significant moment when people gathered to remember the sacrifices made by those in the conflict.

Clare said: “To make an artwork that responds to the National Memorial Arboretum is to make a response to the people it sets out to remember.

“This is a very personal journey for all of those who visit the Arboretum. It is the people who visit that animate these vast memorials with stories and shared memories.

“It is important to acknowledge that remembrance is a very human thing, and I wanted to incorporate this into the new work by inviting the public to contribute to the forming of the art work.”

The shape of each medal was inspired by a Dead Man’s Penny, or Next of Kin Memorial Plaque, which was bestowed to the next of kin of all commonwealth service personnel who died as a result of their injuries in the First World War.

Aysha Afridi, head of heritage and learning at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Temporary exhibitions are a key part of our cultural offering, allowing us to engage new audiences and explore the concept of Remembrance through a wide array of artistic mediums.

“This new exhibition has captured the reflections of visitors and demonstrates the diversity of how people remember and pay tribute to personal sacrifice.”

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