• The Fallen

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Peace Day and The Fallen Project

The Fallen (8)Andy Moss and myself from Sand In Your Eye developed the idea The Fallen (19) of the Fallen Project together to mark Peace Day.  The objective was to make a visual representation of 9000 people drawn in the sand which equates the number of Civilians, Germans Forces and Allies that died during the D-day landings, 6th June during WWII as an example of what happens in the absence of peace.

On the day we had 60-70 confirmed volunteers that had travelled from around the world to help.  We knew that this was not enough to complete the project in the 4.5 hours that we had so at 3pm when we were about to begin we were overwhelmed by the hundreds of people that turned up to help.  Myself and Andy then began to explain the task ahead and together did a demonstration on how to make a stencil in the sand.  However, when we lifted the stencil I realized that we had just made together the first of the Fallen, a representation of a person that once lived, they had parents, family friends.  This person had died prematurely due to a conflict and we were marking his passing. When I make a sculpture or a drawing in my imagination that person is for a moment very The Fallen (33) much there, I will often find myself talking to them to see what they are thinking and how they are feeling, there becomes a connection between me and them.  The person that we had drawn was very present indeed, we had made a The Fallen (12) connection and I was for a moment overwhelmed and Andy Moss had to continue.

After that hundreds of people took stencils and rakes in hand and embarked on drawing the 9000.  The Peace Day project had finally begun in earnest represented by the people of the world.

Of those people that were there were my mother, partner, & friends.  This is poignant and when a person looses their life these are the people that are effected.  What was profound were the people that turned up that I had never met.  They believed in the same thing we believed in, a statement of Peace.  Monika Kershaw was there
The Fallen (6) remembering her son and his colleagues that Died in Afganastan and even wrote in their names beside them.  George, a veteran who was on the D-Day beaches was also there and embraced the importance of the project as demonstrating the result of conflict.  There were a group from Israel that drew together, people from Germany, Finland and as far as Chili. The Fallen (7)

During the day I was running up and down the cliffs taking photographs. What I found is that in this region there are many relics and monuments to the war but it is always difficult to visualize what the actual human loss was.  On Peace Day we quietly and harmoniously drew 9000 people in the sand so that people can understand the loss with their own eyes.  This was a quiet day with a very loud statement.  The message of the Fallen is now travelling the globe, those people that lost their lives are no longer with us but on Peace Day 21st September 2013 they spoke.

Thank you to all those people who helped give them their voice.

Jamie Wardley

 

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