British artist, Nic Joly, has helped to ensure the sacrifices of soldiers in the First World War are not forgotten by creating unique sculptures based around the poppy theme.
Nic has so far raised £45,400.00 for The Royal British Legion through sales of ‘Never Forgotten’ – a signed limited edition miniature sculpture released to commemorate the WWI Centenary.
Drawing on the ultimate symbol of Remembrance and hope, the poppy, the poignant piece was released in July 2014 ahead of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The edition size is 1,566 – representing each day the war was fought – with each individual sculpture labelled on the back with a unique piece of information about that day during the Great War.
Of these, 454 editions have been sold in the year since its release. The sculptures are available to buy at Castle Galleries, Leeds on Albion Place, with £100 from each sale being donated to the biggest Armed Forces charity, to help the artist reach his goal of raising £150,000 for the Legion.
The sculptures are made from copper, with tissue paper creating the delicate petals of the poppy. It is then stood on a slab of marble.
The works have touched the hearts of people around the world with Joly receiving letters of thanks from as far afield as Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
People are purchasing the piece for deeply personal reasons, including a lady who bought the sculpture as an engagement present for her fiancé wounded in Afghanistan and an ex-Serviceman who remembers his fallen comrades when he looks at the piece. Nic Joly himself was inspired to create the piece after meeting a 96-year-old WWII veteran.
Joly said: “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.
“The Legion is an incredible charity – the sales of this piece will go toward their vital work helping the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in need.”
Last year, the original ‘Never Forgotten’ sculpture was auctioned off to raise funds for veteran’s charities, raising £7,500 for ex-Marines in need of support. This year sees the artist donate his own Never Forgotten sculpture which will be go up for auction at the Legion’s annual Poppy Ball. This Poppy Appeal, Joly will also attend the Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall as a guest of the Legion, as sales of ‘Never Forgotten’ continue to help veterans, past and present, and their family members.
Roy Pritchard, Gallery Manager for Leeds’ Castle Galleries, said:
“Each of Nic’s 1,566 pieces may look the same – but they are all unique. With information relating to a specific day in WW1 on the back of each sculpture, each piece is as individual as every day of the war, and every life lost. ‘Never Forgotten’ is a beautiful tribute to those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom – we are honoured to be involved in the project.”
‘Never Forgotten’ is available to view and buy at Castle Galleries, Leeds, 24-24 Albion Place, LS1 6JS and are priced at £695. £100 from each sale will be donated to The Royal British Legion. Watch a video about the Never Forgotten project here. For more information please visit: www.castlegalleries.com