In Memoriam is a new touring artwork by Luke Jerram. The installation is a temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those we have lost from the COVID-19 pandemic. In Memoriam is also made in tribute to all the NHS health and care workers who have been risking their lives during the crisis.
Presented in the open air and in windy locations, the structure allows people to enter, contemplate and explore the artwork, whilst adhering to the rules of social distancing. Luke says Luke says, ‘Not many people have been able to grieve properly, with loved ones unable to visit their relatives in hospitals, funerals cancelled, churches and cathedrals closed. So, although it feels like we’re only half-way through this pandemic, there’s a massive need for an artwork that can help us grieve for those we’ve lost.’
Referencing those people who have been in hospital and care homes during this crisis, the flags are created from NHS bed sheets and arranged in the form of a medical logo.politics and origins of the artwork here.
The artwork is both an installation and venue for events. Beneath the flags host organisations can programme a series of events for the public to attend and engage with. This could be a community choir performing at dawn (a dawn chorus), poetry readings, remembrance ceremonies, small classical concerts, piano concerts and dance events. There could be candlelit evenings, small memorial ceremonies or events where the flags are used as screens for projection.A Moment in Time is a new composition commissioned by Bristol Old Vic. The presentation of the music as part of In Memoriam will raise money for local health charities supporting those impacted by Covid-19. Musical and artistic contributors brought together by composer Dan Jones include: Grant Marshall, founder member of Massive Attack, Stew Jackson, current writer and producer for Massive Attack, and Adrian Utley, founder member of Portishead. Outgoing Bristol City Poet Vanessa Kisuule has written a spoken word contribution which she has recorded whilst renowned theatre and TV [CUT writer,] composer and sound designer Elizabeth Purnell has contributed a piece for strings. Drew Morgan is the cello soloist for the piece. Emerging young talent performing includes 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. Listen to the Music here.
In Development with Durham University
In Memoriam has been 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. In Memoriam will amplify the weather while making the invisible air currents visible. Our capacity to weather the pandemic is shaped by inequalities. In Memoriam makes visible what must ultimately become, the winds of change.
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 23 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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