To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures will be laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4000 square metres across the South Park Lawn – next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields.
The shrouded figures represent those who are listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France – data sourced from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The figures are covered and bound by the handstitched shrouds, taking on their own form, twisting and bending into their own unique shape. The display provides a moment for reflection about the physical reality of the war, in approximately 1:6 scale.
With a unique view of the installation from above, the ArcelorMittal Orbit offers a different perspective that will reinforce the true cost of the conflict, whilst remembering those who gave their all as individual men. This is an artwork of international importance which will resonate around the world!
Extended opening hours during Shrouds of the Somme 8-18 November, 10am – 6pm daily