We are delighted to announce that thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, we are collaborating with Featherstone Town Council to embark on a new art project at Mill Pond Meadows Nature Reserve to build on the fantastic War Horse commission.

‘Fighting From Home’ is a creative engagement programme led by artist Luke Perry exploring the wider impacts of WWI on society and the town. Luke will deliver an 8-month programme of action-based research and creative activities designed to create new connections between different generations focusing on Featherstone’s past to inform and inspire children and young people.

Luke will gather research, memories and ideas to help develop designs for a new permanent artwork to be located at Mill Pond Meadows that will be a tribute to the significant contributions and sacrifices made by women, workers, children and families in WWI.

Luke said: “This is a unique opportunity to tell the real human story of life led by the people of Featherstone through the Great War. So few people now know about the men whose work at home was vital to the war effort, the women who changed perceptions of gender by taking on roles never allowed to them before, of the families; local and refugee, struggling with poverty because all of their working members had left. Above all we can tell the stories of the incredible levels of support that were given by everyone, no-matter how poor or over-worked they were themselves. Featherstone showed great strength of social responsibility to those in need during WW1, it is a story so pertinent to the present situation that we must share it.”

Mayor Cllr Steve Vickers said “Arts Council England have once again come through for Featherstone with a funding grant. It will enable us to engage people in the development of an additional piece of Art in a public space which, whilst being a stand-alone Artwork, will complement the works already completed at Mill Pond Meadow. Those who stayed at home, men, women and children played an important part during the First World War making sacrifices along the way and we in Featherstone are now able to recognise that fact with this new exciting project.”

Featherstone Town Council and Luke Perry are following government guidance to stay at home which is providing time to undertake research in preparation for delivering creative activities with schools and local groups later in the autumn. If you are in the area and taking your daily exercise, keep your eyes open for posters about the project that will soon be displayed in the town.

Check our social media accounts for regular updates.

We would like to say a special thanks the following people for their ongoing support for this project: Girnhill Lane Infants School, Purston Infants School, Streethouse Primary School, North Featherstone Junior & Infants School, All Saints Primary School, St Thomas’ C of E Junior School, Ian Clayton, Featherstone Historical Society, Featherstone Library and Beam arts organisation who will be managing the project.

Image: Featherstone women being driven to Munitions Works. Sourced via Featherstone Library Collection, as compiled by Irvin Saxton

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