WW1 Piper’s Peace Garden Project Appeal

A firm of Edinburgh-based landscape garden designers have asked for the assistance of Piping Press to help publicise this very worthwhile WW1 commemoration project…..

We have been commissioned via a successful competition process to design the Scottish Garden for a Peace Garden project located in Arras, France. Our project is titled ‘Piper’s Peace’ and celebrates the pipers and Pipe Majors who played an important role throughout the Great War and beyond. We wondered if you’d be interested in supporting our project and be kind enough to assist us by promoting our crowdfunding page for the production of bagpipe sculptures. 

The Peace Gardens project consists of creating fifteen permanent perennial gardens in 2018 on the theme of peace in the Hauts-de-France region, this region receiving many visitors to war memorial sites. The project is initiated by Arts et Jardins Hauts-de-France and by the First World War Centenary Partnership Program. Landscape designers from countries which fought in the region have been awarded, via competition, the opportunity to design and build a peace garden reflective of their nation, in our case, Scotland. The Scots suffered their heaviest losses in the Battle of Arras, respectively our garden site is located directly adjacent to the Arras Memorial. Entitled Piper’s Peace our garden celebrates the pipers and Pipe Majors who played an important role throughout the Great War and beyond.

The project is funded by the two foundations as mentioned above, however the budget is limited and therefore we are looking for contributions to produce individual bagpipe sculptures. One of the landscape designers, Anna Rhodes, said: ‘During the First World War, as a symbol of defiance pipers stepped up unarmed, to lead the front line of Scottish troops over the trenches and into the field.The sound of bagpipes has historically punctuated the lives of Scottish people and its cultural significance is still strong today. By taking the sounds of the bagpipes into war, the Scottish troops maintained their identity, and connection to home. The sound would have provided inspiration, motivation, unity and lament for Scottish troops and their allies. Today it is a form of remembrance for all those who served.

‘The peace garden will reference familiar planting from idyllic Scottish landscapes missed by the troops and likely recalled through the sounds of the pipes. The garden structure subtly manipulates landform to allow visitors to physically step up, as the Pipe Major would have from the relative safety of the trenches. The pipe sculptures will punctuate the garden in a melodic pattern. Your contribution will allow us to produce pipe sculptures to be installed this October in Arras, within the Scottish WW1 Peace Garden. We’d love to produce a minimum of fifteen.

‘We have a target of £7,500 and  if we manage to exceed it we’ll continue to produce and add pipes to the garden. They will be fabricated by talented wood turners using Siberian Larch, a softwood with hardwood properties, and stained black to represent those traditional ‘Bog Oak’ bagpipes, oak which has been buried in a peat bog for hundreds of years gradually giving it a distinct, almost black, colour. Each sculpture costs £120. We welcome donations big or small. If you would like to generously contribute £500 or more we will engrave a collar with your name on it.’

Of themselves the designers say: Anna and Melissa are Landscape Architects based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They’ve collaborated on a wide range of landscape projects within Scotland and France and individually have worked internationally on projects ranging from RHS show gardens to central city parks showcasing garden artistry.

• Like to help? Here’s the link: https://www.gofundme.com/pipers-peace-pipes Read more about pipers and the First World War here.

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