Last Saturday the Trench opened at Aerospace Bristol in Filton, South Gloucestershire.
The Trench is a vast, freestanding immersive sculpture where people can walk amongst the Shrouds, which are stacked 7 and a half feet high in a 150ft long ‘trench formation.’ In their original ‘layout’ form, the Shrouds provide dignity and attention to detail, representing the individuals who perished, which is important to give a scale to the loss. The Shrouds in the Trench represent the mass loss. Once inside the Trench, you cannot see the entrance or exit and it is an uncomfortable and unsettling experience to walk amongst the wall of figures.
The Trench exhibition opened with a formal ceremony featuring Marine, Sea and Air Cadets on Saturday morning. Rachael Hunt, the Chair of South Gloucestershire Council welcomed everyone, followed by speech from Shrouds of the Somme Chairman, Cdre Jake Moores. The Last Post was played, before a solemn one minute silence. The exhibit was then declared officially open by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord-Lieutenant for Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
The Trench at Aerospace Bristol has been made possible with the tremendous support of South Gloucestershire Council, Aerospace for hosting the event, SSAFA Bristol volunteers, YTL, Wessex Water and our amazing Project partners, DHL who have stored and delivered the Shrouds to this and other events.
During the exhibition, which is on until the 14th October, SSAFA volunteers will be reading out the names of the fallen. There are well over 65,000 Shrouded figures in the Trench and Rob is busy making the rest in time for the Armistice Commemorations in London in November.
Crowdfunding Campaign Progress
At the time of writing this we are onto our 9th day of crowdfunding and we’re almost 75% funded., which is amazing – however, if we hit the target we would like you to keep pledging! Rob set the crowdfunding goal at £20,000 as Kickstarter operates an ‘all or nothing’ policy and he would much rather smash the target than receive nothing at all:
“Ideally I need at least £100,000 to pay back the money I have borrowed to produce the Shrouds but anything towards my goal would be great.”
So, if you’ve backed the campaign already –THANK YOU! And if you’re still thinking about it – you’ve got 21 days left to make a pledge. And please keep on sharing!
Getting Involved – The Power of Communities
Our fortunes with the crowdfunder took a significant upturn this week when we were featured on the Pick My Postcode Video Draw. The team at PMP haven’t featured a crowdfunding video before but they were so impressed with our campaign they put it on the draw, wrote a homepage blog about us and also shared it with their 80,000 Facebook fans. We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Pick my Postcode and particularly their wonderful community of devoted ‘PMPers’ who have been pledging and commenting and sending us message of support since Monday.
The main reason we were keen to get onto the PMP site is because they have such a great community of loyal fans – and if you are part of an online tribe then we’d ask you to consider helping us too, by sharing our crowdfunding campaign in the following ways:
- Forums – if you are a member of an internet forum then please consider writing a post with a link to our campaign (http://kck.st/2NCTpgE). These close-knit niche communities are built on trust and empathy and we’ve already noticed a flow of traffic to our Kickstarter page from forums where the campaign has been shared. If you’re a regular forum user you can also add a link to your signature to direct people to our cause, for example something like: I’m supporting the Shrouds of the Somme – Buy a Limited Edition Badge to help fund this unique art project: http://kck.st/2NCTpgE
- Newsletters – are you in charge of an email newsletter for your work, business or hobby? Please consider giving us a mention with a link to our Shroudfunder: http://kck.st/2NCTpgE
- Intranet – If you work for a large organisation with internal communications or an intranet see if you can give us a mention with a link to our crowdfunder – perhaps you can drum up interest simply by talking to colleagues who may be interested in what we’re doing.
- Other web communities – if you use any other form of online community system like ‘Slack’ tor Google Hangouts to manage an online community – again please post a link an give us a mention if you can.
- Social Media – If you’re a member of a Whatsapp Chat group or a Facebook Group or have a Facebook Business Page please share a link. And as always if you’re using Twitter, or Instagram or Facbook please keep on following and sharing our posts. You could even change your bio link to http://kck.st/2NCTpgE for the next 21 days and encourage people to click through
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
You might be think it’s not worth making these small changes but it really is. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to share or mention our Shroudfunder and every individual effort WILL make a difference to our end goal.
Rob will be streaming Live on Kickstarter this Friday at 2pm to thank everyone who has pledged so far, talk about his progress with the Shrouds and show you exactly what the badges will look like. Hope to see you then.
The Shrouds Team
Picture credit – the Trench opening: Iain Gray