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Remembrance project ready for emotional display

215 Project Andover Radio
215: Andover Radio

An art installation of remembrance will be in Vigo Park on Saturday.

The ‘215 Project’ will commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One from midday until after dusk on Saturday 10th November.

The project’s name is in reference to the 215 names on the Andover War Memorial in St Mary’s Church.  All the life-sized MDF figures have been ‘adopted’ and decorated by schools and community groups from around Andover.

The figures will be the centerpiece of the emotional installation a day ahead of Remembrance Sunday.  Project lead John Ritchie from The Art Room told Andover Radio that the adoption of a single figure gives the reality and scale of war a more personal feel, “It’s not just about their death but about their lives. We can think about who they are, what they’ve done. For instance if it’s an 18-year old lad who’s had 19 birthdays, he might have been married, might have had kids.  People will think about what sort of job he had.

“We’re celebrating their lives rather than their deaths.”

24 schools and 35 community groups have adorned their figures and will go on display around midday in Vigo Park.

Mr Ritchie continues, “When we think about the battle of the Somme, we have numbers like 20,000 deaths on the first day – it’s such an enormous figure its difficult to grasp.  But, when you’re thinking about just one person, hopefully you can focus on that one person that we’ve got to know and makes it a little easier to understand – and more accessible for children.”

An atmospheric light show will begin around dusk and be accompanied by a soundscape of prose, poems, music and sounds from the era.  The soundscape has been produced by Martin Miller from local radio station 95.9FM Andover Radio.

Specially-written and recorded poetry has been provided from local people including Carole Payne, Dan Hooks and town councillor Katherine Bird.

Some images of figures from Norman Gates School and Home Education Network are below:

Soundscape: 215 Project audio producer Martin Miller
Soundscape: 215 Project audio producer Martin Miller

The schedule for the day:

Come and view the 215 figures in the daylight to see the work put in by all the participants
The Main Event. With atmospheric lighting and sound, do come and spend some time viewing.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.