Still - 14-18 NOW
14–18 Now WWI centenary art commissions Download Email External Resource Facebook Flickr Like Instagram Reply Retweet Search Twitter YouTube
14-18 NOW / Programme / Still
Simon Armitage



Image credit: Paul Wolfgang Webster

There are many thousands of aerial and reconnaissance photographs of the First World War that offer an unfamiliar and rarely-seen visual perspective of the conflict. Map-like images of cratered fields and hieroglyphic trench patterns; dreamlike “obliques” showing landscapes of sepia-toned towns and ghostly villages; panoramas of apparently tranquil meadows and country lanes that disguise more macabre details. These photographs will form a physical and atmospheric backdrop to poems that explore events and locations significant to the Somme Offensive. The result will be a dialogue between military documents of the day and the poetic responses they provoke one hundred years later.

Simon Armitage

As part of Fierce Light, British poet Simon Armitage wrote a series of poems in response to six aerial or panoramic photographs of battlefields taken during the First World War. Inspired by the landscapes and locations, the poems were superimposed onto the photographs, the words interacting with the haunting, abstract images. The framed pieces formed an exhibition at the East Gallery during Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016, and have also been published.

Still premiered at Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016 where Simon Armitage performed alongside some of his fellow poets as part of Fierce Light.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Writers’ Centre Norwich

You May Also Like

Unwritten Poems

Unwritten Poems


New poetic perspectives on the Caribbean experience during the war, exploring the impact on both the men who served and the families they left behind.

Find Out More
The Art Of Border Living

The Art Of Border Living

Northern Ireland

A sonic adventure, this creative documentary features a wealth of newly commissioned writing inspired by borderlands over the past 100 years.

Find Out More
Clarion Call

Byron J Scullin + Supple Fox Clarion Call

Ipswich Waterfront

An extraordinary large-scale public artwork, using audio technology devised for wartime to create a soundscape of immense scale.

Find Out More
Not Yet At Ease

Raqs Media Collective Not Yet At Ease

Free Colchester

An immersive artwork featuring innovative video and sound installations, inspired by letters written home by soldiers during wartime.

Find Out More