The Army Flying Museum based at Middle Wallop, Hampshire invited community groups and individuals across the UK to be inspired by the stories of courage, bravery and comradeship to help the museum create a mass art installation which has been inspired by their own medal collection. The medal collection reflects the history of the Army Air Corps and its predecessors which include the Royal Flying Corps of the First World War, the Glider Pilot regiment of the Second World War and the Royal Air Observation Post squadrons in addition to the modern Army Air Corps from 1957 onwards to the present.
Using these stories and artefacts as inspiration, people across the UK were invited to respond and join in with the remembrance commemorations through the installation. The museum has received over 1200 knitted, crochet and handmade mini medals forming the mass display which around their historic aircraft for visitors to the museum to view.
Some of these medals were inspired by participant’s personal connections to different periods of army flying history such as the Glider pilot regiment of the Second World War amongst others. The installation will be on display until the end of the year for people to view as part of their visit at the museum. A number of medals were also created by community groups across the Hampshire area through interactive outreach sessions prior to the second national lockdown. These groups included several young people’s groups such as Basingstoke and District Young Carers and 5th Winchester Beavers. The project featured on BBC local radio as part of BBC Radio Solent and BBC Radio Wiltshire’s “Make a difference” campaign which features special local charity causes that people across the region can get involved with from home.
As Dan Ball (Outreach and Engagement Officer) says, “this was a fantastic way for individuals and community groups to be inspired by our stories, collections and artefacts, and respond creatively to these at the museum as part of our national lottery heritage funded project and activities” The project also included a willow medal and poppy which were especially commissioned and created by Hampshire based artist Jacqueline Rolls who specialises in Willow sculpture. Both of these sculptures form part of the finished installation in addition to 5 portraits of Royal Flying Corps Victoria Cross recipients which were commissioned and created by Katrina Henderson of Kat Henderson Designs.
The mass art installation is the tenth art installation which is part of a series of co-generated and co-curated community spotlight art installations which form part of the museum’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project “Project Eagle”.
This article first appeared in the Money & Medals newsletter 81. Don’t miss to check out their website.
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This is a brief tour of the Army Flying Museum to give you an idea what awaits you there:
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