WW1 Alumni

Year 9 Art

World War One Memorial Tree Project - KS3 Art Club

The First World War was one of the first conflicts in history to inspire a range of artistic interpretations in wartime. This was the result of the British government developing a variety of art schemes to document and record the war effort. The majority of this work focused on capturing the wartime experience and bolstering support. However, towards the end of the war, the focus of this work began to shift towards expressions of remembrance as people looked for ways to commemorate the fallen. 

Art has remained a popular visual reference for the war ever since and it is often used as a means of commemoration for its ability to convey a wider meaning and message to an audience. The way in which art helps us to visualise the war and remember those who lost their lives has been embraced at Alleyn’s by the Art department and KS3 pupils in particular. This has resulted in the creation of a World War One related art project by the KS3 ‘Installation Club’ to commemorate the Alleyn’s Old Boys who fought and died in the First World War. The students involved decided to focus on the war after being asked to collaborate on a piece of art that had an insightful message. It was decided that a tree would be constructed for the project and would include the names of former Alleyn’s pupils who fought in the war. This choice was inspired by the work of Ai Weiwi, whose famous work ‘Tree’ was on display at the Royal Academy at the time.

The meaning behind the project is explained in more detail below by one of the students who helped to construct the sculpture -

This tree was made as a memorial for all the Alleyn’s boys who fought the First World War. It symbolizes growth and hope for a nation whilst all of their names are written on tags with dates of birth on the back. This tree was made in our Art ‘Installation Club’ by a range of pupils from different year groups and we hope the memorial commemorates the bravery and courage of the soldiers – Hannah, Year 9