Hazelbury Bryan’s resident sculptor, Jamie Hart, is placing one of his larger-than-life-size sculptures on display for Remembrance weekend – it’s not comfortable viewing … but then it’s not designed to be. Made from a single piece of local Bulbarrow beech, the untitled piece stands over two metres tall; a tired WWI soldier morphing into a burned deathmask. Jamie deliberately selected the right piece of wood for the statue, and an accompanying plaque reads ‘In memory of all the men, women and children affected by the true horror of war, past present and future’.
‘I first showed it at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in the WWI commemoration area, near the highly acclaimed replica Western Front trench system, and it was received well.
‘Over time I have received lots of letters and emails from veterans telling me how much they like it, and that it conveys the right kind of message.
‘We often talk about remembering the war and the fallen, but it’s easy to gloss over the ugliness. And if we’re to learn lessons, and not repeat past mistakes, we need to look war full in the face and see it all.’
This year, Jamie was approached by the local Royal British Legion branch, and the sculpture has been installed in Hazelbury Bryan beside the war memorial for Remembrance weekend.
‘Everyone is welcome to come and see it,’ James says. ‘Perhaps to spend some time and reflect. And of course everyone is welcome to attend the village Remembrance Sunday service at 11am.
‘After the event I would like it to go somewhere that is relevant; perhaps one of the veteran arboretums. Sadly, instead of becoming less relevant, it’s even more poignant in the current climate, with war again in Europe. War is not a pretty thing … sometimes it’s good to be reminded of that.’
Follow Jamie on Instagram @Jamie_hart_sculpture – he is available for commissions as well as private sales.