Flowers of War is an intricately layered and connected artwork drawing on stories of World War One from local communities archives and museums. Personal historical narratives inspire the creation of individual leaf and flowers forms.
Each element of the work is an enamelled wearable brooch, either a leaf or a flower associated with sites of the Great War or memories of the home front. The objects adorn a large steel wreath to illustrate the emotions and spirit the organic forms embody.
In conjunction with the final exhibition, objects are linked to historical narratives and connected to stories and artefacts recorded online or displayed in museum collections.
The wreath is a work in progress. People can contribute to the wreath by uploading images of artefacts and memories to an existing World War One website and sending the link to the artists.
The Exhibited Work and Community
Flowers of War is an iterative work currently exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, UK. Following on from the first exhibition in April 2017 at Canterbury Museum the wreath continues to develops with the participation of various communities until the wreath is presented at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne for the 100 year anniversary of Armistice Day.
The Final Work
Each flower or leaf form will have its own unique story and imagery. Collected together on a structure there is a recurrence of familiar forms but as a collection the united images and stories become woven together to form a two-metre diameter wreath. The final work is a contemporary interpretation of the function of the ceremonial wreath; it is a recollection of fragmented memories of the past that can evoke remembrance.
The Flowers of War combines media to provide a powerful and moving commemoration of individual stories. These international stories are woven together to form a singular art work, digital artist book and website.
Taken as a whole these objects tell a story of individual memory alongside collective experience and the community of commemoration.