Just over a year ago I started on a wonderful journey into the past with Teignmouth Community School. The Year 7 pupils researched Teignmouth in WWI and then I led drawing workshops with the 180 children to produce drawings on this theme. The results were great and you can see all the original pictures and read about the process here.
In the intervening year I have made the 144 glass tiles by hand and fired them in my kiln, then fired all of the students drawings onto the glass. The resulting artwork is a big, bright memorial to all the sacrifices the people of Teignmouth made in the Great War. The children’s imagination were particularly peaked by all the fishermen being called up before the war had even started and the women having to do all the fishing for the town, the White Feather Movement and conscription, and the grief of the sheer numbers of dead and wounded.
The memorial has a permanent home at TCS Exeter Rd, in the main reception, but it will travel to Exeter Cathedral for the 100 year commemorations in 2018.
This project is one of 5 arts based commissions and was funded by Devon Remembers, a South West Heritage Lottery Funded Project as part of their WWI commemorations around Devon. Please visit their website for more information and for events happening around the county here.
Huge thanks to TCS Art Department, especially Mrs Ellie Wilson, Devon Remember’s Project Manager Katherine Findley, my long suffering electrician friend Bobby Martin, the Mayor of Teignmouth Paul Burgess for attending the launch and of course the wonderful students at TCS! And last but anything but least big thanks to Teign Heritage Centre for their help and archives throughout this project.