Flowers provide inspiration for children's First World War commemoration project

Darlington and Stockton Times: GLASS ART: Kirklevington Primary School pupils, Izzy Robson, Mia Burnett, Tasha Dodds and Eve Walker with artist Judith Gill and the glass bunting at Yarm Library. Picture: STUART BOULTON. GLASS ART: Kirklevington Primary School pupils, Izzy Robson, Mia Burnett, Tasha Dodds and Eve Walker with artist Judith Gill and the glass bunting at Yarm Library. Picture: STUART BOULTON.

THE symbolism of flowers representing the world's nations has provided inspiration to children working on a First World War art project.

Glass artist Judith Gill encouraged seven to nine-year-olds at Kirklevington Primary School, near Yarm, to draw pictures of the flowers, including Germany’s cornflower and the English rose.

Coloured pieces of glass were then placed over the top of the drawings and they will be exhibited at Yarm Library until after the town’s commemorations in August.

The artist is involved with secondary school children in the town who are making 91 poppies for each of Yarm’s fallen soldiers.

However, she decided to work on something with a more positive message about humanity for the younger children.

She said: “I chose to use flowers as they are a powerful symbol. As they grew across continents, they did not respect man-made boundaries, race, religion or politics and they unified soldiers of every nation and represented the hopes and dreams. Some, like the poppy, became famous symbols recognised everywhere as a symbol of hope, renewal and remembrance."

The glass flowers were placed into bunting and hung over three windows at the library.

Mrs Gill explained that Russia’s sunflower was the most popular plant because of its simplicity, while only one child took on the more difficult rose of England. Other flowers used include the gentian for Austria, the iris for France and the pomegranate flower for Liberia.

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