Continuing on from the success of BBC Local Radio’s World War One At Home series of live events across the UK, the BBC unveil an iconic digital photo mosaic which has been created in partnership with IWM (Imperial War Museums). The mosaic is made up of a combination of 20,000 audience faces, captured in our recruiting office during the BBC WW1 At Home events throughout the summer along with original First World War imagery sourced from IWM’s archive and additional original images submitted by members of the public.
Controller of English Regions, David Holdsworth, commissioned the digital mosaic on behalf of BBC English Regions and said:
“We always aim to put audiences at the very heart of what the BBC does and on this occasion we have been able to achieve that literally. The WW1 At Home tour has been a huge success as these 20,000 pictures of people who came along show. The mosaic represents the spirit of WW1 At Home, our landmark UK wide project to tell powerful, fascinating and moving stories about the impact of WW1 in local areas right on our doorsteps.”
Artist Helen Marshall was commissioned to produce the ambitious project, which will form the image of WW1 soldier, Private James Ernest Beaney, as a way of commemorating the First World War in a digital age.
Helen Marshall says “This portrait image was selected not only because of its important historical context, being sited clearly in its own time, but because it is a face that could also exist in the here and now, in our time. It could easily be a portrait of our father, brother or friend, taken yesterday. It has a gentle understated presence, yet when made up of thousands of faces it acquires a special status and speaks to us as individuals whilst evoking our collective memories.”
The image of Private Beaney who died serving with 6th Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment (Royal West Surrey), has also been turned into a short film ahead of Remembrance weekend.