‘MAGNIFICENT MINI MEDALS ART INSTALLATION PROJECT’
The Army Flying Museum based at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, invited community groups and individuals from across the UK to be inspired by our stories of courage, bravery, and comradeship, to help the museum create a mass art installation which has been inspired by our own medal collection, writes Daniel Ball.
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, active from 1957 to the present.
Using these stories and artefacts as inspiration, people from across the UK were invited to respond and join in with our remembrance commemorations through the installation. We have received over 1,200 knitted, crocheted and handmade mini medals which form the mass display around our historic aircraft which visitors to the museum can 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. The installation was on display until the end of 2020. 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 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 specially 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 five 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 in a series of co-generated and co-curated community spotlight art installations. These form part of the museum’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project ‘Project Eagle’.