THE streets of Kidderminster have been turned into a work of art as part of the town's Arts Festival's First World War commemoration.

Artists painted 661 chalk stencils on Vicar Street, each one representing a person from the area who lost their lives in the conflict.

The stencils feature an outline of a soldier with a poppy as a heart.

Images of the artwork were shared around twitter last Wednesday, with people commenting on how fitting a tribute the artwork was.

Loz Samuels, arts and play development officer at Wyre Forest District Council, who came up with the idea as part of Kidderminster Arts Festival, said she wanted to create something that would have an impact.

“I found out there was only 661 men who lost their lives from the area and this idea seemed like it would have the most impact,” she said.

“I wanted to do something that would capture the imagination of young people and I thought this was the perfect idea as it is very current.”

The stencils were created by artists Deeds and Melo who, alongside a group of 17 volunteers, took to the streets on Tuesday night and spent three to four hours painting the figures.

Deeds, whose real name is Dom Dunlea, said the artwork had an impact on him once it was completed.

“It was surprising when I started looking around and saw the amount of people who lost their lives laid out in that scale,” he said.

“On the night we were doing it a few young guys came up to us and asked us what we were doing and they were amazed by the sight.

“It seemed to give them a new found respect for the soldiers so by that I feel it has done its job.”

This installation has been drawn in chalk paint which will slowly fade before disappearing within two to six weeks, depending on the weather and people walking on the outlines.

A board outside the Town Hall has also been installed with a list of the names of the men remembered.

Both Mrs Samuels and Mr Dunlea were very thankful of the volunteers for their help in creating the commemoration.

Mr Dunlea said: “All the work was down to the volunteers who worked solidly during the evening.

“We also need to thank the Boars Head who gave myself and Melo space to create the stencils and also provided the volunteers with a few drinks after they had finished the work.

Mrs Samuels added: “It was a really fantastic team effort as we had people of all ages working on it together.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to all who helped, they should all be really proud of what they have done.”

What are your thoughts on the commemoration? Post your comments below and send in your pictures of the artwork to or @ksshuttle

To view our gallery of the artwork click here.