Measuring 36m in diameter, it features more than 100 flags made from hospital bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical symbol and is designed as a temporary memorial to those we have lost over the last 15 months. In Memoriam is also a tribute to frontline NHS staff and care workers who have constantly put their lives at risk during the ongoing pandemic.
Delivered by Harrogate International Festivals and supported by Hornbeam Park, Harrogate BID and Swainsons Funeral Directors, In Memoriam will be in situ until Monday, June 7.
It is the first in a series of installations and events that Harrogate International Festivals - which this year celebrates its 55th anniversary - will be delivering and producing across the town over the coming months.
Sharon Canavar, Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled that Harrogate is the first Yorkshire destination for this incredible touring art installation by Luke Jerram.
“Covid has impacted on the lives of absolutely everyone around the globe, and Luke has created In Memoriam with a dual purpose. Whilst being a temporary memorial to those who have lost their lives from coronavirus, it is also a fitting tribute to the NHS staff and care workers who have put their own lives at risk on a daily basis doing their jobs.
“We don’t want people to just look at In Memoriam from afar, we want people to experience it; we want individuals, families and friends to walk into the heart of it; we want them to sit under the flags and quietly reflect the events of the last 15 months.”
Sharon added: “Two year ago, we were lucky enough to bring Luke’s Museum of the Moon to St Wilfrid’s Church, which was one of the highlights of that summer’s International Festival, and was visited by more than 10,000 people.
“As an arts charity delivering festivals and events, we were first to close and will be the last to open, but we can’t just open the doors on our venues and go straight back to normal. We wanted to create something unique in Harrogate that acknowledged the last year whilst allowing us to create a safe, outdoor event for the town.
“I’d like to thank all our supporters for helping us deliver In Memoriam to Harrogate, which we also hope will remind people of the power of the arts, which has also been a casualty of the Covid pandemic.”
Harrogate International Festivals is best-known for its summer season of international music, and producing the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, alongside a host of events across the year including Berwins Salon North, chamber coffee concerts, and the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival.