Sunderland will be a part of Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s contribution to the centenary of Armistice Day. To best remember the millions who left their home by sea to serve in the war, the event will centre around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.
The public will also take part in the day by creating their own silhouettes in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. Poet Carol Ann Duffy, who’s new collection of wartime poetry Armistice is soon to be released, has been invited by Danny to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November, with copies provided to anyone who wants one on the beach.
The commission, for 14-18 NOW – the arts organisation that has funded hundred of works to highlight and commemorate the centenary of the First World War – will mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on 11th November, so it’s sure to be a moving occasion.
Danny thinks the locations of this nationwide festival are fitting: ’Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide,’ he says, ‘they seem 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'm inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.’
Why not come along to this historic event and take part in remembering those who left our shores both at the commemoration at Roker Beach and online via the gallery at www.pagesofthesea.org.uk