Remembrance field of Forget-Me-Nots at Grove Park
31 May 2023
Visitors to Grove Park over the May Bank Holiday weekend, enjoyed a poignant display of more than 800 forget-me-not flowers created by members of the community in tribute to those they have loved and lost.
The large-scale memorial art project, led by artist Helen Wheelock, featured a meadow of forget-me-nots in vibrant shades of blue, screenprinted by artist Zara Emily on plastic otherwise destined for landfill.
People were invited to wander around the installation which took place on Sunday 28th May and reflect upon the hundreds of heartfelt messages written or drawn on each individual flower, including moving tributes to parents, grandparents, friends, partners and pets. There was also an opportunity to create your own artwork and plant a flower to add to the installation.
The flowers were created by people of all ages attending a host of artwork sessions held in local hubs throughout the area, including For All Healthy Living Centre, North Somerset Training Hub, Chocolate Garden, Weston Artspace, Substation Community Hub and community spaces at Aller Parade and Loxton Road.
Helen Wheelock, Director of Create Together and Community Growth Manager at Alliance Homes, said: “Forget-Me-Not has opened up so many personal conversations for people around loss, providing a safe, creative space to talk about their loved ones and grief. It has been a privilege to co-create the project with communities in Weston and share it at Grove Park and we want to thank everyone who contributed to the memorable artwork.
“As a direct result of this community activity, further initiatives including a Grief Café and Bereaved Men’s Cookery group are being established, providing ongoing opportunities in the local area.”
Photographs and stories paying tribute to people and places were on display in ‘Where We Walked’, a photographic project by Paul Blakemore and the local community, supported by Alliance Homes. Through ‘Where We Walked’, six residents of Weston revisited cherished places they have enjoyed with beloved ones they have lost, with personal, photographic portraits of the landscapes created. In addition, postcards have been produced that share these locations and sentiments with the wider world, alongside signposts to local walking groups and support services.
Weston Hospicecare and their volunteers also joined the Sunday event, bringing along memorial daisies that decorated the Grove Park bandstand for people to purchase on the day in aid of the charity.
‘Forget-Me-Not’ and ‘Where We Walked’ are both part of the recent Good Grief Weston Festival (1 – 8 May 2023), an inaugural event produced by Culture Weston in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the Weston-super-Mare Community Network.
Weston Hospicecare has been a key partner on Good Grief Weston, providing counselling support at all of the events during the Festival and platforming groups such as Men in Sheds, who meet year round to help people navigate bereavement.
For more information about Good Grief Weston 2023, visit https://superculture.org.uk/projects/good-grief-weston/
- Images by Mark Gray, with thanks