"Stourhead will never forget" sculpture trail 2015 to 2017 commemorating World War I

At Stourhead, the National Trust landscape garden in Wiltshire we have created four large installations. They commemorate the effects of World  War 1 on the local community. This project was backed by the Heritage Lottery fund and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A brochure is available with a map at the Visitors' Centre at Stourhead.

Above is our concept for Ebenezer Stone's Bicycle. He was a stable lad at Stourhead who made a bike before 1914 but lost both legs in the war. Below is the Bike and below that is a detail of the finished work.

We will be installing two  more installations in 2016 . One, which will be floating on one of the smaller lakes, will commemorate the recreation of wounded soldiers from nearby Mere Hospital who were allowed to use the grounds of Stourhead. The other will commemorate the death of Harry Hoare, the heir to the estate in December 1917. All six installations will remain in place until December 2017, the centenary of that event.

Below detail on one of the wheels of Ebenezer Stone's Bicycle 

The installation Arcadia to Armageddon  below is a 3D mural, about ten metres wide,  showing the transition of a rural peaceful landscape into a desolate battlefield full.  In the middle is a life sized horse he is ploughing a peaceful field while his head is in a gas mask as he heads into war. To the left are bright flowers and bees, to the right a scorched landscape of burnt tree stumps and blackened gnarled detritus.

The Installation Gallipoli and the Middle East has two elements on either side of the track that leads up into the woods behind the Pantheon.  Immediately below is one element,  the Camel Train not a  train of camels but a camel carrying trains. This is based on a photo in the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester  showing a train full of camels (see the photo further below). The Dorset Yeomanry  fought at Gallipoli and Palestine.  Harry Hoare was fatally wounded in the latter, his parents Sir Henry and Lady Hoare, owners of Stourhead, receiving the news on Christmas Eve 1917.

Below is the Anzac Sphinx, the name that the ANZAC troops gave to a rock formation at Gallipoli along those murderous cliffs where thousands of them died 1915 - 1916. Troop of all nations added jocular names to sections of the front. "La bouteille de Champagne" referred to a a section of the French front and there was more than one Piccadilly Circus.

Harry Hoare visited the pyramids of Giza with his father before World War 1 during a visit to Egypt made in an attempt to improve the young man's health. The soldiers of the Dorset Yeomanry visited them on their days off when stationed in Cairo during the Middle East campaigns in World War 1. We have installed some pyramids near the obelisk and inscribed  on them commemorative motifs of the nations involved in Gallipoli: the red poppy for Britain, the cornflower for France and its empire, the soldier bearing a wounded soldier after the statue at Gallipoli representing British empire and Commonwealth troops, the  Turkish Memorial at                                   Gallipoli, an arch with a crescent and a star  inscribed.

Below are some images of soldiers and camels in the Middle East campaigns courtesy of the Keep Military Museum Dorchester, Dorset. It  has excellent exhibits about the Dorset Yeomanry and World War 1.

Below are images of the creation of the installations and workshops associated with the process. Our past                               blogs have more on that. Below the Ebenezer Stone's Bicycle  being created.

                  January 27th 2015  We are working hard on the Giant Bike installation.

Above is a recent hand made bike with wooden wheels.  We are always gathering stuff for future projects.Anthony was given some organ pipes from a demolished organ  (see below). Perfect for an installation next year at Stourhead which will feature a band playing on a pontoon on a lake. The pipes can be used to make a xylophone and various flutes and trombones.

February 19th we held our first workshop at Stourhead connected with the project. Participants made miniature bikes  to be fixed to the Giant Bike. They also drew or wrote ideas to be engraved on the wheels of the Bike. Below are some of the contributions to the installation.

The boy survived despite a bayonet through his head. He was taken prisoner and nursed back to health.

                  Harry   was the heir to the Stourhead estate and died of his wounds.

      Paul and others made a maquette of a battle scene. Spot the bike.Our next installation at Stourhead  "Arcadia to Armageddon" will show a peaceful landscape morphing from a peaceful landscape into a battle             scene. There will be a giant mural on corrugated iron and sculpture in front - a 3D mural.

                                        Below Rachel  guides the making of miniature bikes.

March 10th, a perfect day to start installing the Giant Bike at Stourhead  in memory of Ebenezer Stone. Work still in progress .

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