Castle Galleries have unveiled ‘Never Forgotten’ by Nic Joly, a poignant commemorative piece to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The gallery is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for The Royal British Legion through the sale of these miniature limited edition sculptures. They will be available at Castle Galleries from Monday 4 August.
The artwork depicts two soldiers raising a red poppy – a direct reference to one of the most iconic images of war: the Joe Rosenthal photograph of US soldiers raising the flag on the island of Iwo Jima during the Second World War.
Each piece costs £695 and £100 from each sale will be donated to The Royal British Legion.
A spokesperson from The Royal British Legion, said: “We are delighted that Nic has chosen The Royal British Legion to receive a share of the income from his fantastic project. “It is particularly poignant in this, the centenary year of the beginning of World War I, that he has chosen the poppy, the national symbol of remembrance, as the centrepiece of his work. The Royal British Legion was founded in the aftermath of The Great War and has, since 1921, provided support for the Armed Forces Community. Nic’s gesture will help us to continue our work with serving personnel, veterans and Armed Forces families who are in need of help.”
Joly said he was inspired to create the original piece, the idea for which was conceived in 2012, after meeting a 96-year-old war veteran who had flown a glider into Arnhem in the Second World War, just weeks after the D-Day landings.
He said: “In my own small way, I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives in conflicts from The First World War until the present day will be ‘Never Forgotten’. I was struck by the fact that what we all think of the first war is as distant history, a black and white image based view. The meeting made it all so real, and so relevant. All those that fought and died were just like you and me – they were normal people in a terrible situation but doing incredible things.”
Anna Bligh, Castle Galleries, Cambridge’s gallery manager said, “‘Never Forgotten’ is an emotive piece and reminds us to remember all those past and present, who have served and given their lives for the country. “We feel very privileged to have the sculpture on display for the people of Cambridge to come and remember the lost soldiers of the First World War.”