Wigan art students prepare to showcase World War One project

Wigan and Leigh College prepares for massive WWI project
Wigan and Leigh College prepares for massive WWI project

Art and design students from Wigan and Leigh College have undertaken a huge project to commemorate the World War One centenary ahead of Remembrance Sunday.


Senior art lecturer Rachael Silverwood, along with her student groups, were invited by the Galleries shopping centre to design and create 100 giant card and paper poppies to suspend from Makinson Arcade’s ceiling.

Initial inspiration was drawn after a visit to the Imperial War Museum North in Salford where students viewed the current exhibition Lest we Forget and the famous Poppy Wave that was installed at the Tower of London and is currently touring the country.

Rachael said: “Our art and design students have really worked their socks off to get all this done in time for a big reveal in November.

“The students have remained focused over a long period and some have even researched their own family tree as part of this project which has given them a sense of pride and understanding of such a poignant event in our local history.

“Students have created petals for each poppy that feature facts, dates, names and regiment numbers of some of the local people who bravely served our country. Screen prints, detailed drawings and sketches of WW1 men and women feature on the giant poppies.”

Remembrance Day is a national day of memorial to remember and honour service men and women who have lost their lives since WWI.

Galleries centre manager Victoria Nichol said: “We’re delighted with the quality of the artwork that the students have created. It’s fantastic to see how the younger generation have engaged with this project to commemorate WW1.”

The Poppy launch will be held on Thursday November 1 6,30pm to 7.30pm with the general public being able to view the spectacle from the following day onwards.

Rachael added: “Each poppy is as individual as the men and women who served during WW1 from the local borough and each poppy will pay tribute.”

There will also be creative displays that feature the Art and Design students’ Final Major Project featuring work inspired by the theme of vonflict.

Wigan Council also supports the project by commending the students on their hard work and describing the project as ‘a show of solidarity’.

Makinson Arcade, in Wigan town centre, also celebrates its 100th anniversary this year making the event even more fitting.

The poppy installation is due to remain on display for two weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday.