In Memoriam, a new touring artwork by Luke Jerram will be installed on College Green, Bristol from Friday 1st to Sunday 17th October.
The ceremonial art installation of over 100 flags, made from NHS hospital bed sheets, will form a striking display against the backdrop of City Hall and Bristol Cathedral. It has been created in memorial to losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and made in tribute to the work of NHS, health and social care staff and volunteers who have given so much to so many.
In Memoriam was originally commissioned in 2020 by the Arts & Culture Programme at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) and Culture Weston. Since then, owing to the pandemic, this poignant piece of public art has toured throughout the UK and Europe, but this will be its first appearance in Bristol.
In Memoriam now returns to the artist’s hometown as a temporary memorial for people to visit and remember, as Luke Jerram explains:
“It’s great to finally bring the artwork home to Bristol. This piece reflects changing moods and atmospheres according to the weather and how visitors interact with it. I hope this artwork will create a framed space and moment in time for personal and shared reflection.”
Additional support for the project is being provided by the Bristol Cathedral, which will be welcoming visitors to light a candle in memory of a lost loved one, as well as the opportunity to write commemorative messages.
Throughout its installation on College Green, In Memoriam will act as a setting for a community programme of acoustic music, poetry, movement and individual personal acts of remembrance.
Anna Farthing, Arts Programme Director of UHBW explains;
“In Memoriam is a tribute to the NHS health and care staff who continue to serve others during these most exceptional times. We could not have got through the pandemic to date without them.
“Public art that is accessible and engaging provides an opportunity for the NHS and social care sector to engage with local people in a slower, gentler and more reflective way. This internationally renowned artistic installation offers a moment of contemplation for everyone that visits. It helps us reflect upon the unique personal impact that the pandemic has had – touching all of our lives – personally, at home, at work and in our local community.”
The initiative is supported by the Bristol’s City Centre & High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme which is funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project, as well as Bristol City Centre BID, inviting people back to the city centre safely.