To mark the centenary of the Armistice, the Art Department had the pleasure of welcoming Charity Fox, Art Conservator at the Tate Modern, to carry out a very relevant, exciting and moving project. The Artwork, filled with symbolism, took three words as a focus: honour, love, remember.
Throughout the course of one day, Charity invited 293 boys and teachers to contribute to a collaborative piece by each painting three small tiles to commemorate the 293 old boys and teachers of DPL who lost their lives to conflict. The ideas of connecting with one soldier’s story and remembering collectively were key.
The almost 900 pieces, now exhibited in the Music School Foyer, were carefully sewn together into three panels, representing the importance of honouring, loving and remembering.
Here’s Charity’s reflection on the final outcome:
It was quickly apparent that each person would have just a few minutes to participate if we were to complete it in one day. We came up with a uniform paper square that each person could quickly paint and sign. And we expected a uniform outcome.
What we hadn’t anticipated was just how individual the squares would be. Each boy or teacher who contributed left a very personal mark, on an otherwise uniform canvas. Without realising it, they have highlighted for us how each of the men who died was an individual, with a personal story, fighting in an impersonal conflict.
Many thanks to Charity for planning such a meaningful and beautiful project and for sharing her knowledge and passion with us. The boys’ response to it has done the school proud – they responded with maturity, showed interest in the soldiers’ stories, embraced the practical task with huge amounts of enthusiasm and worked together beautifully.