Armed Forces sculptures go on display

Armed Forces sculptures go on display

Andrea and Angie

Andrea Taylor-Haynes and Angie Deopersad with their statue

Two sculptures created by military veterans will go on show in Wigan and Leigh as part of a display depicting their lives after leaving the Armed Forces.

The artwork will go on show at Wigan Life Centre and the Turnpike Centre in Leigh after being unveiled in an exhibition at the prestigious Lowry Hotel.

Bravo 22 Company is a recovery through arts programme by the Royal British Legion which is behind the works. Veterans from Greater Manchester created the striking pieces which will go on display across the borough in the coming months around their personal experiences of handling their mental and physical health on leaving the Armed Forces.

The artwork fits in with Wigan Council's own #BelieveImOnlyHuman campaign which is aimed at celebrating the diverse mix of Wigan Borough's residents.

Andrea Taylor-Haynes and Angie Deopersad are behind one of the sculptures. Andrea served in the Royal Navy from 1987 to 1989 then later was diagnosed with the condition lupus. Angie is Andrea's full-time carer and the pair collaborated on their piece.

Andrea said: "This sculpture feels very personal and working on a combined piece with Angie helps me to express the support she gives me."

Angie added: "I want people to see the real me in this sculpture, and the connection between me and Andrea."

The second sculpture has been created by Dave Joddrell who served as an armourer for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 1969 to 1976. During his time in service he toured Northern Ireland twice, was stationed in Cyprus and finished in the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards.

After leaving the Army, Dave became a maintenance engineer, using the skills he had learnt during his time serving. And now he has found a new outlet through the group to demonstrate that passion.

He said: "My sculpture is based on my love of mechanisms, and shows me taking separate components and assembling them in to a finished product. It pretty much represents me – a 'putter togetherer'."

The 12 sculptures have been created with guidance from professional sculptor Al Johnson. 

She said: "Each of the sculptures is unique to its creator and tells a different story of recovery; from a painful memory to worries about civilian life or injuries that can't be physically seen."

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, portfolio holder for adult social care and health, said: "We are committed to supporting veterans across Wigan Borough and recognise the great work that projects such as this do to raising the profile of schemes offering veterans a way to channel their thoughts about life in the Armed Forces and teach others about the work being done to help support them beyond service."

The sculptures will go on show from Thursday.

Posted on Monday 17th July 2017
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