Thousands Flock to St Albans Cathedral to Commemorate the end of WW1
Over 8000 people, young and old, attended the Poppy Fields installation which filled St Albans Cathedral this weekend. The touring installation created especially to commemorate the World War One Centenary saw record breaking numbers brave the cold to come and remember loved ones and those lost in conflict.
The Dean of St Albans Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John said, “It was uniquely moving, and created an atmosphere of sorrow for the horror and pointlessness of war, but also of profound thanks for the self-sacrifice of so many. It was touching to meet many older people whose memories of war and loss were very personal, but also to see so many younger people sharing in the depth of feeling. We are very grateful to the creators of this superb presentation, to the generous sponsors who supported it and to the many volunteers who worked so hard to make it possible.”
“We were very sorry that the crowds on Friday night meant we had to turn some people away. We were humbled by the numbers who wanted to attend and had to respond quickly to ensure crowd safety.”
Created by Peter Walker, Artistic Director at Lichfield Cathedral, the installation featured projections specially tailored to St Albans Cathedral, including over 2000 names of local soldiers who served in the armed forces and falling rose petals over the Shrine of Alban, Britain’s First Saint. A beautiful sound artwork composed by David Harper, accompanied the installation which included four readings of World War One poems by Oscar Winning actor, Eddie Redmayne.
Peter Walker said, “It has been a privilege to bring the Poppy Fields installation to St Albans and to see thousands of people from the area visit. Art in its many forms can be for people of all ages and backgrounds. At times of shared national and international significance when collectively we are considering such major events as the centenary of the armistice, art can bring people to focus intently. And as the visitors left the installation walking under falling leaves, the artwork reminded us that is is Peace that was in the hearts of those who fell so many years ago.”
A programme of Remembrance events continues at St Albans Cathedral www.stalbanscathedral.org
Notes for Editors
Luxmuralis is the collaborative team behind the Poppy Field installation. Together Peter Walker and David Harper create works across multiple media and presentation formats. Luxmuralis work internationally in the development of large scale sound and light artworks. The primary purpose of Luxmuralis is to take art onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in public as well as unexpected places.
Peter Walker is Artist in Residence and Artistic Director at Lichfield Cathedral. He is an internationally renowned sculptor and artist. Peter is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He is curating a series of major art projects at Lichfield Cathedral over the coming years.
David Harper MSc
David is a Composer and Sound Artist. The music he writes and produces has been used for BBC and Channel 4 TV productions as well as for national theatre productions and film. David also creates sound art installations, which combines his musical composition with video and film and are frequently exhibited at art events, museums and in public spaces throughout the UK.