Art memorial for pandemic victims to open

BrumYODO and Birmingham Hippodrome launch In Memoriam artwork in Birmingham.

Birmingham-based community interest company Brum Yodo and Birmingham Hippodrome are to launch the stunning open-air art installation In Memoriam by Luke Jerram in Birmingham on Saturday 8th May.

The artwork will be at Aston Park until Sunday 16th May and can be visited for free, in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures daily between 9am-6pm.

In Memoriam features 120 flags created from NHS bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical logo. A temporary memorial for the public to visit and remember all those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic, In Memoriam also pays tribute to the NHS health and care workers who have been risking their lives during the pandemic.

Luke, who visited Aston Park prior to its opening, said: “It’s wonderful to see In Memoriam here in Birmingham – this is the first time we have been able to install the artwork anywhere this year and this is also the debut of the new NHS blue colour. People will bring their personal and individual responses to the artwork and I hope it offers them a space to pause and reflect.”

In Memoriam is the focus of this year’s A Matter of Life and Death Festival, an annual arts and culture event aiming to encourage conversation about death and dying created by local organisation BrumYodo, this year working in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome.

The festival also includes a programme of online events and an invitation for people to take part remotely by creating a personalised In Memoriam flag. Groups including staff and patients at local hospitals and hospices, children of refugees visiting Ladywood Foodbank, community sewing networks and schoolchildren across Birmingham have been busy making flags and posting them to an online gallery on the BrumYodo website.

Visitors to In Memoriam on Sunday 9th May will also have the opportunity to take part in outdoor flag-making workshops between 11am-4pm with local artist Margaret Murray and contribute their flag to a community version of In Memoriam that will be in place for the day at Aston Park.

On Saturday 8th May and Sunday 9th May Aston Hall will be opening its Stable Yard Café for takeaways and will be running a barbecue between 11am-4pm.

In Memoriam has been designed specifically to be presented in large open spaces to comply with social distancing. With the expanse of space around the flags and a strong air flow, the artwork can safely be visited with people able to walk, stand or sit in its midst.

BrumYodo and Birmingham Hippodrome have been working with Birmingham City Council to ensure a site which is both accessible and safe for people to visit. The grounds of Aston Park are free to visit and parking is available.

In Memoriam in Birmingham is supported by Arts Council England, Without Walls, Birmingham City Council, Aston Hall and A Natural Undertaking.

For more information see BrumYodo and Birmingham Hippodrome.

Pics – Simon Hadley