A COMMEMORATIVE stained glass window made by a professional artist with help from Tamworth school children will be unveiled during a special event on Remembrance Day.
Hundreds of primary school pupils from across the town learned the art of stained glass window making during a series of workshops this summer with artist Ester Naylor as part of a project marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Children explored the theme of ‘heroes’, taking inspiration from those who fought for the country’s freedom a century ago for the I Am Hero element of the 12-month I Am Tamworth initiative.
Ester, who has more than 30 years of experience in stained glass window making, is now incorporating their designs into a new centenary window for Tamworth Library which will be revealed for the first time at midday on November 11.
As well as the grand unveiling of the 4ft by 2ft window, the event at the library will also include the screening of a short film based on WW1-themed poems and vignettes and an exhibition of art work by students.
The 35-minute screening of “14” sees a collection of poetry by Staffordshire’s 2013-14 Poet Laureate, Tom Wyre, brought to life in a combination of live action, archive footage and superb animation filmed by Emmy Award winners Junction 15.
The film is being shown across Staffordshire before hopefully being revealed to wider audiences on a national scale.
The Lost Generation exhibition is a collaboration of work between Midlands’ artist Andy Farr and schools across the country in a project designed to make the WW1 centenary relevant to young people of today.
It comprises original work by the pupils, inspired by the lives and experiences of their peers from 100 years ago, and work by the artist.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, said:
“A lot of work has gone into the new stained glass window and it will act as a lasting legacy and permanent reminder for future generations so I am looking forward to seeing how it has turned out. The project was designed to get young children thinking about the sacrifices made by those who fought for this country’s freedom.
“The window will be unveiled on a very special day, as part of a special series of events, organised as part of the 100-year commemorations. After the 11am service at St Editha’s Church, people will be able to head to the library next door for the unveiling and the thought provoking film and artwork.
“We are fortunate to have secured both of these for Tamworth on Remembrance Day and I hope people come along to mark the anniversary.”
The I Am Hero project involved pupils from Coton Green, St Gabriel’s, Birds Bush and Two Gates primary schools, who took part in interactive sessions with Ester, before creating their own designs.
Ester used these as the basis for the new window, which will be fitted in one of the recesses in the front of the Corporation Street library, where it will complement the original WW1 stained glass windows in the adjacent St Editha’s Church.
“I took all of the designs by the children and looked for common themes that would work in stained glass window making. Without giving too much away, the final design has elements of war imagery as well as symbols of a brighter future. It has been a great project to work on, especially as you never know what the children are going to come up with. I hope everyone is pleased with the outcome.”
Funded by Arts Council England, I Am Tamworth is Tamworth Borough Council’s most ambitious arts project to date. Led by the Arts & Events team, it is made up of several community schemes and initiatives designed to encourage people to explore their creative abilities and participate in the arts. More information is available at www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/i-am-tamworth.