A poignant art instillation to remember those who have died of Covid-19 during the pandemic is coming to Birmingham’s Aston Park today (May 8).
The open-air memorial will consist of 120 blue and white flags made up of NHS bed sheets. Together they will form a medical cross as a tribute to health workers worldwide.
‘In Memoriam’, created by artist Luke Jerram, is designed to be a safe space for people to reflect and mourn those who have lost their lives.
“Since last year we’ve had more than 120,000 people die of Covid-19,” said Luke who travels around the country installing his work.
“The statistic are shocking. Not many people have been able to grieve properly, with loved ones unable to visit their relatives in hospitals, funerals cancelled and places of worship closed. So there’s a massive need for artwork which can help us grieve those who we’ve lost.
“I try to make artwork that can be read and appreciated at different levels. If there are children running between the flags having a nice time chasing each other, for example, that’s also absolutely fine.”
Birmingham Hippodrome, in partnership with BrumYODO and Birmingham City Council, is hosting Luke’s artwork as part of this year’s ‘A Matter of Life and Death Festival’. Brummies can take part in the festival remotely by creating their own, personalised memorial flag.
Luke has worked with the Hippodrome before when he installed his ‘Museum of the Moon’ – a fusion of lunar imagery and sound – artwork in 2019.
He added: “The Hippodrome is a very established organisation and I feel proud to be working with the team to share my artwork in Birmingham again. I haven’t had an exhibition in the city for a while, so I’m really looking forward to seeing it.”
The installation has been designed specifically with social distancing in mind. Locals are encouraged to maintain space while visiting.
You can find more information about In Memoriam here.