Street art commemoration 'makes an impact'

STREET ART: 661 outlines of soldiers were painted on the streets of Kidderminster to commemorate those from the area who lost their lives in the First World War.

STREET ART: 661 outlines of soldiers were painted on the streets of Kidderminster to commemorate those from the area who lost their lives in the First World War.

First published in News
Last updated
Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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 editorial@kidderminstershuttle.co.uk or @ksshuttle

To view our gallery of the artwork click here.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:32pm Fri 8 Aug 14

davsee says...

I get the outlines of the soldiers but what are the flying dogs all about????
I get the outlines of the soldiers but what are the flying dogs all about???? davsee
  • Score: 3

1:27am Sat 9 Aug 14

The Fossa says...

The dogs symbolise the animals that were used in the war effort. http://www.theatlant
ic.com/static/infocu
s/wwi/wwianimals/
The dogs symbolise the animals that were used in the war effort. http://www.theatlant ic.com/static/infocu s/wwi/wwianimals/ The Fossa
  • Score: 3

6:40pm Sun 10 Aug 14

GGmommy says...

I took my son to see it. Found it really quite powerful. Illustrates very clearly the impact the war can have on everyone, not just the people in the big cities. Congratulations to all involved.

My son asked lots of questions and it sparked a very interesting discussion.

A great way to remember the sacrifice that so many people made for their country. There was nothing glorious about war, just tragic loss of life. I hope we all live and learn, I somehow doubt it though.
I took my son to see it. Found it really quite powerful. Illustrates very clearly the impact the war can have on everyone, not just the people in the big cities. Congratulations to all involved. My son asked lots of questions and it sparked a very interesting discussion. A great way to remember the sacrifice that so many people made for their country. There was nothing glorious about war, just tragic loss of life. I hope we all live and learn, I somehow doubt it though. GGmommy
  • Score: 1

11:28pm Sun 10 Aug 14

sonofbaldwin says...

A powerful way to commemorate the great war. I noticed there was a red outlined soldier profile further up into the town which was to me at least confusing - anyone know what this was to symbolise?
A powerful way to commemorate the great war. I noticed there was a red outlined soldier profile further up into the town which was to me at least confusing - anyone know what this was to symbolise? sonofbaldwin
  • Score: 1

12:43am Mon 11 Aug 14

walkerno5 says...

It's awesome. Well done all. Truly thought provoking and makes 661 a much more tangible number all of a sudden when you're standing amongst them all.
It's awesome. Well done all. Truly thought provoking and makes 661 a much more tangible number all of a sudden when you're standing amongst them all. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree