[Editor’s note: Sue Ball, Stock, Services & Activities Manager for Staffordshire libraries, writes about their Big Ideas Funded project]
People from across Staffordshire are being invited by Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service to create a poppy to be part of an installation to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War. This will be displayed at Staffordshire Place, the council headquarters.
To support the creation of the poppies, a successful application was made by the Libraries and Arts Service for funding to the Big Ideas Fund. This supports artist led intergenerational workshops in libraries with community groups and schools, including things like knit and natter groups, craft groups and local history groups.
Artist led workshops
People are hand making poppies from different materials. Artist Jennifer Collier who is running the workshops in libraries is encouraging participants to use their own photographs, memories, objects and stories relevant to them to commemorate not only those who fought and died during World War 1 but also the women whose domestic, everyday lives contributed to fighting the war on the home-front.
The workshops are designed to provide an opportunity for children and young people to collaborate with different generations through their own families, friends and local communities to explore the lives of women from the Great War era, discover Staffordshire’s own Trailblazing women, share their stories and inspire a new generation of Trailblazers for the future.
Jennifer has created a toolkit for each library including:
- poppy template
- list of materials
- suggestions on themes and patterns
- resources to download/photocopy
Jennifer will then work with the Libraries and Arts Service to create the public installation using each poppy created.
A launch event is being planned on 9 November to celebrate the project and share the contribution that communities have made. It is just one of many commemorations due to take place around the county.
The installation will be in place between 9-14 November, and once the exhibition is complete the poppies will go back to libraries for further display. Further opportunities are being explored to extend the project’s reach.
The project is enabling Staffordshire communities to work with a quality artist, engage in an interactive cultural experience as well as well as promoting a sense of citizenship and community belonging.
To find out how the project is evolving, keep an eye on Staffordshire libraries on twitter.
Please note, this is a guest blog. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of DCMS or the Libraries Taskforce