Student creates poppy tribute to Borders’ war dead

Morag Grant shows her remembrance artwork to military students at Borders College.
Morag Grant shows her remembrance artwork to military students at Borders College.

An art and design student at Borders College in Galashiels has created a poppy tribute to the region’s war dead to mark this year’s Armistice Day.

Morag Grant, of Hawick, was inspired by her interest in the two world wars to create the art installation as part of a class unit on environment.

The 46-year-old 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 regrowth after war.”

Inspired by the charred landscapes often left by trench warfare, the third-year student created a battle-ravaged tree from sections of wood blackened by blowtorch and chopped with an axe.

She then decorated it with 320 poppies made out of clay positioned to look as if they are spilling out of the tree and falling to the ground.

The poppies, cut from rolled clay and spray-painted red, took her five weeks to make.

The installation also features a wooden plaque bearing an extract from Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem For the Fallen laser-etched by Heriot-Watt University staff member Yvonne Caldwell.

It can be seen at the college’s Nether Road campus until Monday, November 13.