Borders College

Art for Armistice Day

A Borders College Art and Design student has put their heart and soul into a special installation at the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels to mark Armistice Day.

Art for Armistice Day

Morag Grant (who lives just outside Hawick), now in her third year of Art and Design at the College, was inspired by her personal interest in World Wars I and II to create a fitting piece as part of her class unit on Environment. Morag said:

“I am really passionate about military history due to family members as well as my husband having been in the military themselves. I wanted to create something that would commemorate those who have fallen in war and to demonstrate life and re-growth after war.”Art for Armistice Day

Inspired by the typically burnt, charred landscape after war, Morag decided to focus upon trees in particular, as they take on the appearance of shattered shards. Her vision was to recreate a war-ravaged tree from sections of wood, blackened by blow torch before giving them a distressed, ‘blasted’ look using an axe. The finishing touch, 320 hand-made poppies which took Morag 5 weeks to complete, were all individually cut from rolled clay before being shaped, dried, sealed and finally sprayed red. For dramatic effect, Morag arranged the clay poppies in such a way that it would appear they were spilling up from the centre of the tree before flowing back down to the ground.

Morag adds: “Because I am using a lot of natural wood from a local sawmill in Lilliesleaf in my installation, I felt it only right that I replace that wood, and so I will be purchasing a grove from 'Trees For Life' which will see my own grove of trees planted by them on my behalf to create a beautiful, wild forest. The result will see bare hillsides transformed into healthy young woodlands, rich in wildlife which will be protected for future generations.”

The installation, bearing a wooden plaque featuring words from Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’, laser etched by Heriot Watt University staff member Yvonne Caldwell, will be in place outside the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels until Monday 13 November 2017.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Art for Armistice Day at Borders College


Morag was joined by staff and students from the Prep for the Armed Services course.

Published: Mon 6th Nov, 2017