Dan Metcalfe with a section of 'Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope' (Photo © Joe Priestley)

'Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope' at Ripon Cathedral

Posted on centenarynews.com on 22 October 2018
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Artist Dan Metcalfe has combined soil from Yorkshire and Passchendaele for a sculpture at Ripon Cathedral commemorating the sacrifices of those who returned from the Great War, as well as those who did not.

Gradually, as the wet earth dries out, cracks begin to appear, revealing five battle weary silhouettes returning from the front, each with their own story, their backs to the past and facing the future.  

Millions of poppy seeds - ready to germinate, once planted - are buried in the earth, representing hope and the resilience of life.

The silhouettes - developed in collaboration with illustrator Jeanne Mundy for the Armistice Centenary - 'are no longer at war, but neither are they yet fully at peace'.

'Tenacious'

Dan Metcalfe explains: "The subject of hope is not immediately obvious when looking at the Great War and you do have to search for it and work at it, but it is there.

"Rather like the tenacious poppy seeds, legacy and hope are buried deep and can sit dormant and unseen ready to germinate and flourish from the mire given the correct circumstances.”

Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope blends earth from the site of a WW1 British military camp and hospital at Ripon, in North Yorkshire, with that of the Passchendaele battlefield. Together, they are symbolic of struggle and healing.

Members of the public can currently reserve segments of the sculpture, which will be decommissioned in November.  

Dan Metcalfe hopes that 'people will continue the legacy of the piece by planting their segments to create personal poppy gardens, or use it to create alternative remembrance artworks'.

Remaining funds will be donated to charities which support those affected by the legacies of conflict.

Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope is at Ripon Cathedral until November 14.  Viewing 9.30am-6pm daily. Admission is free.  Details of more remembrance events in Ripon can be found here.

Commemorative events & projects are also taking place at many other cathedrals - information can be found on the English Cathedrals website. 

See also Centenary News Armistice events summary.

Source: Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope

Images © Joe Priestley

Posted by CN Editorial Team