Two British artists have set out to make 9,000 sand drawings on the D-Day landing beaches in France on Peace Day, 21 September, to represent the civilians, Germans and Allied Forces that died at Arromanches on 6th June 1944 during WWII.
Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss have been garnering support from volunteers to help them stencil in the sand the silhouette of the fallen lives on both sides of the conflict, a fleeting and eerie glimpse of the scale of the carnage.
“The Fallen is a sobering reminder of what happens when peace is not present. The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable – the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the WWII Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. There will be no distinction between nationalities, they will be known only as ‘The Fallen’. It does not propose to be a celebration or condemnation, simply a statement of fact and tribute to life and its premature loss,” says Jamie.
Between 200 and 900 volunteers made the silhouettes of each person by way of a simple stencil that is laid on the ground, raked in and then lifted. This is manageable by people of all ages and one person can be done in 3-5 minutes. Each person represents a life and the art installation lasted only a few hours until the tide came in and washed away the sand drawings.
If you happened to be in Arromanches in Normandy to take part in this remarkable event, make sure to tweet us @frenchentree so we can share the experience with Francophiles and history and art buffs around the world.