This panorama was a bit of a lucky find. It was a nice Sunday and the family decided to have the afternoon out at a local stately estate that was now in the care of the National Trust. On arrival I found out that the Battle of the Somme art exhibit was on display there for the summer. I had previously heard about the exhibit when it made it on the local news but that was in the middle of Birmingham and I hadn't realised that this amazing work had gone "on tour".
The exhibit had been created by first year Theatre Performance and Event Design students from Birmingham City University. They were on a tight budget of just £450 and less than four weeks to complete the task. Everything you see is made from either brown paper or cardboard and was originally unveiled in the week that marked 100 years since the First World War. The students drew on inspiration from the work of leading war poets Wilfred Owen, Woodbine Willy and Charles Hamilton Sorley, who all wrote about the shocking and sad horrors of life in the trenches. It's amazing to see how they created so much from so little, and all the hard work that has gone into turning a concept into reality.
I later found out that the original plan was for the exhibit to be re-cycled after it had been on display for 2 weeks in Birmingham but 660 Squadron Army Air Corps based at RAF Shawbury were so intrigued by it they offered to put it on show in their Officers's Mess in time for a regimental dinner. Unfortunately it could not remain there and so the National Trust at Dudmaston Hall offered to put it on public display over the summer. What you see here is just part of the full exhibit that due to space restrictions in the old kitchen, couldn't be displayed. This will be it's final home with the students asking that it is destroyed in me memory of those who lost their lives on the Somme.
Thanks must go to Kellie Channing, the house steward at Dudmaston who allowed me to visit the exhibit for a few minutes before it was open to the public and capture this work of art before it is lost forever.
Can you spot the brown paper rat?