BrumYODO and Birmingham Hippodrome present
In Memoriam by Luke Jerram
8th – 16th May 2021, Aston Park, Birmingham
BrumYODO and Birmingham Hippodrome were delighted to bring In Memoriam – an open-air art installation by internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram – came to Birmingham for 2021’s A Matter of Life & Death Festival.
Presented in the open air at Aston Park in Birmingham, In Memoriam was a temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic and to pay tribute to all the NHS health and care workers who have been risking their lives during the crisis.
The artwork consisted of 120 flags created from bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical logo.
Luke Jerram says:
“It’s great to be bringing In Memoriam to Birmingham for the first time and I hope the installation is of value to people who have been affected by the pandemic.
“Not many people have been able to grieve properly, with loved ones unable to visit their relatives in hospitals, funerals cancelled and places of worship and community closed. So there’s a massive need for an artwork that can help us grieve for those we’ve lost.”
Get Involved – Make a Flag
In addition to visiting the In Memoriam artwork, we invited people to participate in a citywide community activity to create their own individual, handheld flags. These could be made out of paper, cardboard, fabric or anything you have available at home. The flag could be dedicated to someone who has died; or it could be to thank the NHS or anyone else who has worked so hard during this difficult time. This activity was open to everyone as individuals, families, schools or community groups. Information on how to make a flag including videos and downloadable step-by-step guides on our ‘Make A Flag’ page.
Sharing the Flags
Once flag were made they could then be displayed in windows or gardens, hung from balconies or put in a community space.
Images of them were also uploaded to our In Memoriam Birmingham gallery on our website, so we could share your creativity and thoughts with everyone else.
Inspired by In Memoriam, a range of online community events were arranged by partner organisations.
All of the events were designed to encourage people to engage in open and honest conversations about death, dying and their experiences during COVID-19 supported by resources available to help facilitate these discussions.
A Matter of Life & Death
Due to lockdown restrictions, we knew many people weren’t be able to see the In Memoriam artwork in May when it came to Birmingham, but we were glad to see people through the flag-making and other events, get involved to remember the people who have died; reflect on all that we have gone through and thank those who have worked so hard during the pandemic.
There were a number of online events which also took place including panel discussions which can now be viewed or listened to here.
For more information on conversations and legacy of ‘In Memoriam’ in Birmingham please see our blog post.