ArtHouse Jersey’s Skipton Forget Me Knots art installation finally came to a close at the Jersey Maritime Museum over the weekend after welcoming over 2,200 people through its doors. Now, the 3,400 paper flowers made by school children in the Island have been donated to the Jersey Library in St Helier, where they will remain on displayfor the foreseeable future.
Chief Librarian at Jersey Library, Ed Jewell, reached out to ArtHouse Jersey towards the end of the Skipton Forget Me Knots exhibition to ask what the future held for the flowers. Each flower represents an emotion, sentiment or wish of a young person in the context of the pandemic, so it was important that the flowers, which remain as poignant today as when children created them earlier in the year, were given an appropriate home to be enjoyed by people of Jersey. The library is the perfect place. The flowers were designed in specially facilitated workshops between May and October, beginning with primary school children of key workers, who were the only children allowed in school at the time, right up to full secondary school classes during the autumn. The exercise proved of great value to both children and teachers alike, providing each participant with a platform for dialogue around COVID19, while helping each other make sense of the surreal collective experience unfolding around us. Above all, the final art installation was a symbol of hope in trying times for our society and an example of simple, collaborative beauty emerging from a somewhat chaotic and challenging time.
Natasha Dettman, Producer at ArtHouse Jersey, said: “The flowers carry huge symbolic significance, so we were conscious of the need to find an appropriate home for the flowers when the exhibition came to a close. We couldn’t be happier that Ed and the Jersey Library have agreed to give them a new lease of life. The flowers have taken on different meanings as the year has gone on as our collective experience with COVID19 evolved over time. It would be too soon to put them away just yet.”
Ed Jewell, Chief Librarian at Jersey Library, said: “The Children’s Library has been transformed into a vibrant meadow of cornflower blue, with Forget Me Knot flower pots sprouting up across the shelves. I’m very pleased we can give a second home to this glorious burst of creativity, showcasing the work of children from across the Island.”