In Memoriam was a touring artwork by Luke Jerram. The installation was a temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those lost from the COVID-19 pandemic. In Memoriam was also made in tribute to all the NHS health and care workers who risked their lives during the crisis.
Presented in the open air and in windy locations, the structure allowed people to enter, contemplate and explore the artwork, whilst adhering to the rules of social distancing.
“We’ve all been impacted and have had our lives turned upside down by the pandemic. Many people are grieving for loved ones they’ve lost, whilst others are living with long covid and missing the lives they used to have. As we emerge from the pandemic, it feels like we need a place to reflect upon what we’ve been through and remember those we’ve lost. I hope this artwork can act as a safe place for people to visit, to contemplate and remember.” Luke Jerram, 2020
Referencing those people who were in hospital and care homes during the crisis, the flags were created from NHS bed sheets and arranged in the form of a medical logo.A Moment in Time was a new composition commissioned by Bristol Old Vic. The presentation of the music as part of In Memoriam raised money for local health charities supporting those impacted by Covid-19. Musical and artistic contributors brought together by composer Dan Jones included: Grant Marshall, founder member of Massive Attack, Stew Jackson, writer and producer for Massive Attack, and Adrian Utley, founder member of Portishead. Outgoing Bristol City Poet Vanessa Kisuule wrote a spoken word contribution which she recorded whilst renowned theatre and TV composer and sound designer Elizabeth Purnell contributed a piece for strings. Drew Morgan was the cello soloist for the piece. Emerging young talent performing included Jo Bacon, Jerome Gamble and Joe Harding, all on guitars with Tom Nosek providing vocals.
The album of music is also available for sale though Bandcamp, to raise money for charity.
In Development with Durham University
In Memoriam was informed by the Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Weather Lives’ project, led by Dr Cassandra Phoenix at Durham University. ‘Weather Lives’ foregrounds the weather as something we are all interconnected with; an ephemerality that moves and animates us, physically and emotionally, entangling us in various ways throughout our lives. As people move through the installation, they might consider the role the weather has played in their health and mental wellbeing during lockdown, including, for example, the intensified sense of vitality that being outdoors in weather may have brought.
Changing minute by minute, the artwork will reflect and respond to the altering weather conditions.
About Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for 25 years, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Find out more via his main website.
In 2018 he was Visiting Fellow Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, University of West of England. In 2020 he received an Honorary Degree – Doctor of Letters from the University of Bristol.
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