100 Hearts for 100 Years

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In 2018 I was approached by the military charity SSAFA (Soldiers', Sailors' & Airmen's Families Association) to create an artwork that illustrated the role of the people and places in Wiltshire during WW1 as part of  "100 Hearts for 100 Years" project commemorating100 year since the end of the war.

Entitled "Wiltshire in WW1" the piece was exhibited at the Young Gallery in Salisbury and later Salisbury Cathedral.  Images included the military on Salisbury Plain, The Fovant Badges cut into the chalk hillside by soldiers, the women of Russley Park who prepared officiers' horses, the railway workers in Swindon who built ambulance trains and the graves of Anzac soldiers buried in Sutton Veny who died of influenza in Wiltshire and not on the war front. The colour of the background was chosen to match the colour of the army uniforms of the soldiers.

 

The piece was shown along side a wonderful collection of original  WW1 "Sweet Heart" cushions which were made by soldiers as therapy and some modern day versions created by various organisations and artists from as far as field as Australia and Belgium including The Royal School of Needlework, Fine Cell Work and the Embroiders Guild and local school children. 

I also printed and framed some images of some of the soldiers onto fabric to help tell the story of the soldiers on the front line.

I was pleased to meet Neil Stace "the Sewing Soldier" of the British Sewing Bee fame who was also involved in the project. I felt honoured to be part of the project and hope the exhibition helped others to remember those who had served their country abroad as well as at home like the men and women of Wiltshire who played their part in war time.

Michelle Smith

Designs