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Artists display work at WWI art trail

Heidi McEvoy-Swift - casualty dog
Heidi McEvoy-Swift - casualty dog

An art trail which will mark the centenary of the end of World War One in Bury St Edmunds was launched on Wednesday by the My WiSH charity and Our Bury St Edmunds.

The event, held at Greene King’s beer cafè, hosted five of the 18 artworks which will feature on the trail, along with artists in attendance.

Among the artists was Heidi McEvoy-Swift, who collaborated on two pieces including a handkerchief line which involved work by the community.

Heidi was also textile designer of a casualty dog, which depicts the mercy dogs who were trained to find the wounded and dying in the battlefields, and often comfort them until they died.

Michelle Freeman, who runs The Crafty Foxes workshops for children, was artist to four of the designs, including the muted mule.

She was inspired by the Horrible Histories TV show which illustrated mules used in the war who were stronger than horses but louder so had their vocal chords sliced to silence them.

Michelle’s other artworks include a dromedary camel, a field of poppies and ‘silent soldiers’ design depicting pigeons carrying messages during the war.

Jonathan Messum, who designed a stained glass window piece, said: “It just naturally came into my mind as a battle merging into how it would look now.”

Another of the artists present was Dennis Humphrey, who created a 3ft tall book made of oak and mahogany.

Dennis, said: “It’s just a thing to make people sit back and read it.” The book will be displayed in St John’s Street Church.

The trail starts on July 21 and concludes on Armistice Day. People can enter a competition to find all 18 pieces around the town to win vouchers to spend in town centre businesses. There will be an auction at the end where people can purchase items with all proceeds going to the Every Heart Matters appeal at My WiSH charity.

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