Paintings made by members of the Bury St Edmunds Arts Society are to go on display outside the town’s Guildhall as part of the My WiSH Charity’s First World War trail.
It is part of a project organised by the charity, which is aiming to raise £500,000 for its Every Heart Matters appeal for a new cardiac unit at the West Suffolk Hospital, and Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement district (BID) in the town.
The society has been staging workshops at the Southgate Community Centre with a total of 19 artists from the group of 110 members involved in helping create 32 paintings which are displayed on two 4ft square display boards.
They feature unique and imaginative scenes of the 1914-18 conflict with war scenes, memories and war messages.
Both boards will be varnished with a clear exterior UV protecting coating so they can be displayed outdoors and will be free standing on a purpose made supporting framework displayed at the front of the Guildhall.
Rosie Copeland, the chairman of the group, said: “It’s the first time that we have been involved in anything like this and it is the first piece of collaborative work that we have done … it’s a milestone for us.
“It’s a big thing for us and considering all the people that’s been involved it’s been a very good time for us.”
The society meets at the Hyndman Centre, in Hospital Road, and were keen to be involved in the trial with the workshops taking place in February and April and members met up at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village museum to look at various items from the war which are cared for at the site and offered inspiration to the artists.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.
The World War 1 trail will feature 18 pieces, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites and will be on show from July 21, through to Armistice Day, on November 11. At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the Every Heart Matters appeal.
Treatt, the leading beverage ingredient solutions manufacturer based in Bury St Edmunds, will be the main sponsor for the trail, and Daemmon Reeve, group CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support this ambitious and exciting project which remembers the bravery of those who fought in World War One and is also helping to raise the £500,000 needed to fund the brand new cardiac centre at the hospital.”
If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the websitewww.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to: Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.
Pictured above are members of the Bury St Edmunds Arts Society with their images for the display outside The Guildhall.