We are delighted to announce our own ‘glad tidings of great joy’* as 6,920 people attended our exhibitions, which Commemorated Peacetime in Dacorum.
With the support of funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Berkhamsted Lions we staged another successful exhibition. Firstly, for 12 days in an empty shop unit in the Marlowes Shopping Centre and then secondly, for 1 and half days at Berkhamsted Civic Centre.
Within our exhibition we had our large art installation of 1089 origami doves, one for each soldier, named on war memorials in Dacorum. This was a poignant reminder of the impacts the Great War had on the local community. The origami doves were all folded by people from u3a groups, to girls guides and visitors to our pop-up stalls at Armed Forces Day, Chipperfield Fete and the Libraries. This is what made this piece truly special, a collaboration of the community remember the local community.
Anther element of the exhibition, which really brought the theme to life, was the artworks created at Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts shop. We hosted 3 object handling sessions with children at the shop. Once the children had the chance to talk to the DHT and handled the objects from the period, they were given a 12”X12” canvas to decorate in any way they liked. Of course their artwork needed to be inspired by the First World War and they had to incorporate the outline of a dove somewhere in their work. Some put this obviously, others more subtly. The aim was to have 100 canvases for the 100 years since the end of the First World War. The work they produced was creative and inspiring. Many of the pieces had 3d elements, using books to show diary entries, poppies and medals for example. They were all inspired by the collection, one object that we showed was the Princess Mary Christmas Tin and so some of the children created 3d chocolates into their designs.
There were vinyl poppies on the floor of the mall including a sign ‘follow the poppies to our WW1 centenary exhibition’ These proved popular and you would see children jumping the gaps in-between each of the poppies and would lead many straight into the entrance of the shop.
One activity we wanted to do during 2018, was to scans all the pictorial rolls of honour from the local Gazette. We envisage that in the exhibition the origami doves to be displayed alongside of ‘faces behind the doves’. It proved to be one of the most interesting parts of the exhibition. Many visitors commenting that they made the exhibition more ‘real’ especially in the way we had used short sentences alongside the images showing the basic information, name, age, street name and a place of work.
If you did miss out on the exhibition, there is no need to worry. Over the next few weeks we will be uploading information and images from the exhibition on to our website.
Also all the information was read out and recorded by one of our volunteers. These are still available to listen to on our YouTube channel