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New model armies ready to march

An army of paper models will bring the stories and landscapes of World War 2 in Herefordshire to life thanks to a £25,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money will fund Model Heritage, a project which will see teenagers in the county recreate historical events and sites through cut out and make digital artworks.

Young people will be involved in workshops and exhibitions to create a series of artworks based on their own interpretation of particular heritage sites. Armies of cut out and make your own paper or card models of either people or buildings will be displayed on the floor of the researched site.

Locations will include the South Street Public Art Route Gallery in Leominster which is a Grade 11 listed timber framed building with original American airman artworks on the wall. Barons Cross WW2 hospital for servicemen; the American Service hospital in Kington; Rotherwas Munitions factory in Hereford; and Madley Environmental Study Centre on the site of an airfield used for training radio operators will also be settings for the project.

Research of Herefordshire Museum’s war artists’ collection and national archives of artists who have made work about the war will provide valuable sources of information.

Stephen Williams, Development Officer of Welcome to our Future which is running the project said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from HLF. This is a very creative way to help young people learn about historical sites and past events resulting in visual art-works that have been made with young people, inspired by the heritage and distinctiveness of a place. “

He added: “Workshops will be led by different professionals including heritage experts, storytellers, artists and designers and involve making drawings, photography and literature research before the final installation of the models. The exhibitions will take place in galleries and at the sites themselves where appropriate.”

Commenting on the importance of the award, HLF’s Regional Manager Anne Jenkins said, “This project will give young people in Herefordshire the chance to learn how to take an idea from their local heritage sites and stories and develop it into a stunning and professional visual image. It will lead them to develop closer affinity with where they live and its past and also about contemporary art and design.

The project follows an earlier successful HLF funded scheme, Community Mapping, and the temporary art installation at Rotherwas Chapel, Hereford which involved English Heritage and young people creating cut out and make your own chapels.

The Model Heritage scheme will also involve Herefordshire Lore, English Heritage and Herefordshire County Council. Workshops are due to take place from January to June 2006 followed by installations until October. Herefordshire Youth Service’s mobile youth centre and Museum on the Move will be used to reach as many young people as possible across the county.

Photo: Haven Installation Rotherwas Chapel exhibition.