Touring artwork honouring Covid-19 victims and key workers sets up in Hartlepool
More than 100 flags fluttering in the sea breeze have appeared in Seaton Carew in a piece of art to remember victims of the pandemic.
Entitled In Memoriam by internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram, a total of 135 white and blue flags have been installed in Seaton Park.
From above they form a medical logo with a blue cross and have been created from NHS bed sheets.
They are sufficiently spaced out to enable visitors to walk among them and reflect on the last 17 months and pause to remember loved ones lost to Covid-19.
It is also tribute to all the NHS health and care workers and key workers who have risked their lives during the crisis.
Luke said: “As we move towards the end of this pandemic in the UK, it feels like, as a nation, we need to come to terms what we’ve everything been through.
"With funerals limited in their capacity and places of worship closed, it’s been hard for many people to grieve properly.
"I hope this artwork will create a framed space and moment in time for personal and shared reflection.”
The touring work of art opened on Friday, August 20, and will remain in place until Bank Holiday Monday, August 30, coinciding with Hartlepool Waterfront Festival on August 28 and 29, and the ongoing Summer at Seaton activities.
It attracted a lot of interest from park visitors on its first day with Hartlepool Borough Council events staff on hand to supervise.
Sue Hurrell said: “People have been very, very positive about it. One woman said she stood in it for a few minutes and it just felt very peaceful.
"Some people coming to the park said they didn’t know about it but were really pleased it was here.”
Fellow council events staff member Julie Morfitt added: “There’s been quite a lot of children running about inside.”
Council leader Cllr Shane Moore said: “In Memoriam is a peaceful and reflective installation which we hope will support people to mark this extraordinary time and commemorate those who have died from the pandemic.
“We hope it can provide people with the opportunity to process their experiences, thoughts and hope for a brighter future.”