The Sky of Poppies is an art installation by Charron Pugsley-Hill to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. It hangs in the North Square of Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough. It opened on the 6th of July and will be up until the 18th of November 2016.
It is made up of over 1000 Felted Poppies that were made by hundreds of people in Peterborough. My role was to teach people how to make the poppies. Participants were all ages, genders, races & abilities from a young child at school to a 101 year old woman to a war veteran to a woman in prison to a family in Canada. Everyone who participated was able to create a poppy which made the project accessible to all.
Queensgate gave us a unit to use in Westgate called The Sky of Poppies Project which we were able to do some of the Free Workshops from. We also went into local schools, community centres and art centres to teach people how to make them. We had our first workshop in March and the last in June, the 1000th poppy was made by one of women we met during our course at the Women’s prison in Peterborough. Everyone began with access to the same materials: bubble wrap, warm soapy water, Merino wool, sparkle and silk fibres. Each one is unique with different colours being used and arranged before being felted. Some people worked together to create larger ones which hang vertically in the installation.
The art piece also includes the names of the 131 men from Peterborough who died during the Battle of the Somme. Each poppy represents 1,000 casualities from all sides and each one is unique and handmade. There is a lot more symbolism in the art installation, please visit Charron’s website to see more about it: http://www.charronpugsleyhill.com/world-war-1/1916-2/