Thank you to everyone who took part in Pages of the Sea.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle invited people to gather on thirty-two beaches from St. Ninians in Shetland to Porthcurno in Cornwall for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.
Pages of the Sea is the largest simultaneous coastal arts project to take place in the UK.
“It was the most ephemeral of tributes, yet all the more poignant for it.” The Telegraph
Taking place on Armistice Day, the project saw tens of thousands of people join in a series of community-led events on thirty-two beaches around the country.
Sunny Sands, Folkestone, Kent
Large-scale portraits, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, were drawn into the sand on the beaches and washed away as the tide came in – representing a small selection of the millions who gave their lives to the war. The portraits featured across the thirty-two were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the War effort, from doctors to munition workers, Privates to Lieutenants and Majors. A number of the portraits were of notable war poets, who translated the experience of war for those at home. Many were from the regions or communities they were depicted in, with others from towns, cities and international communities not featured to show the scale of loss.
Colwyn Bay, Conwy
In addition, the public were asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.
Poet Carol Anne Duffy was also invited by Danny Boyle to write a poem to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. The poem, The Wound in Time, was read by individuals, families and communities as they gathered. Cards were distributed on beaches featuring over 14,000 different images of casualties from the First World War drawn from records held on the Pages of the Sea website, which includes records uploaded by the public. The images were also drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ website, which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website have been adding their own portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War: www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org
West Sands, St. Andrews
Danny Boyle said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They were the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War. I invited communities to come together and watch as the faces of the fallen were drawn in the sand and to remember the sacrifices they made.”
Sunny Sands, Folkestone, Kent
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “Danny Boyle has devised a truly memorable project – directed and inspired by local communities all around our coastline. Pages of the Sea is a fitting tribute to the millions of men and women who lost their lives in the First World War.”
“14-18 NOW extends a huge thank you to Danny Boyle and to all our partners and volunteers who made this project such a success”.
Murlough, County Down