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Students stunned by the sight of the Somme

Posted on 9th November 2017

Huish students working with the BBC

Huish students working with the BBC

Huish Media students joined the BBC this week to interview inspirational artist Rob Heard who is responsible for creating ‘Shrouds of the Somme’.

Having recognised how challenging it is to visualise the huge scale of fatalities in historical conflicts, Rob decided to physicalise the number within his artwork. Over 3 years, Rob crafted 19,240 12 inch figures, each wrapped in a hand-stitched shroud, to represent the men killed during the first day at the Somme. The shrouds were laid on grass and displayed to the public in 2016.

Rob is now hoping to create 72,396 shrouded figures to display in November 2018 to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. The 72,396 figures will be linked to the names of all the British servicemen whose bodies were never recovered from the Somme. Using the records from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, every shroud is linked to an individual to ensure each individual who made the ultimate sacrifice isn’t lost within the numbers.

The media students were stunned by the sight of the shrouds that have already been created and it is estimated it will take 15,000 hours to complete the total number and that the final display of bodies laid in rows, shoulder to shoulder, may cover 5000 square metres.

The interview with Rob Heard will be aired on BBC Breakfast on BBC1 this Friday (10th November), and students look forward to working with Rob over the coming year to promote the project. For more information visit http://shroudsofthesomme.com/.

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