Barnsley artwork at top awards ceremony

The public artwork commissioned by Barnsley Council to remember the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme has won a national award – and is up for another accolade.

The work, created by artists, musson+retallick, has been recognised with a Pro-Tem Civic Trust Award, which acknowledges excellence in temporary structures.

The work, called Light Lines, was on display outside Barnsley Town Hall from Friday 1 July until Remembrance Sunday last year. It depicted images of local men who fell in battle and incorporated artwork created by ten local schools.

It is one of 53 winners in the 2017 Civic Trust Awards, but the only one from Yorkshire. At the awards ceremony on March 10 it will be up against the Serpentine Pavilion 2016, a temporary sculpture which was outside the Serpentine Gallery in London, for the Pro Tem Special Award.

The Civic Trust Awards is an independent scheme established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment. Its objective is to honour projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve.

The creation of Light Lines was supported by Barnsley Museums and funded by grants from Art Council England, the Ward Alliances and Historic England.

Light Lines was officially launched at an event to mark the start of the battle of the Somme on July 1 and featured rows of illuminated portraits with original photographs of the men along with small cast objects made by schoolchildren. The duration of its existence was designed to reflect the length of the battle.

Kevin Wallace, Barnsley Council’s arts and events officer who led on the project, said: “This was a poignant piece of artwork, but what made it all the more special was the involvement of local schoolchildren and local families who lost loved ones in the Somme. It is a real tribute to them.

“We are proud that Barnsley has been recognised in this way, particularly when you look at the calibre of work nominated at the awards. We sit alongside nationally and internationally renowned projects and are delighted that Yorkshire has been represented. Light Lines has put the spotlight on Barnsley and is just one example of the high quality public art that can be seen in the town.”

Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for Place at Barnsley Council, said: “We are delighted that Light Lines has won such a prestigious award and have our fingers crossed that it can go on to win another award.

“To think we are up against the Serpentine Gallery for the Pro Tem Special Award just shows what a stunning piece of work it was. It is something for Barnsley to be proud of, especially as it commemorates the lives of local men, 300 of whom lost their lives on the first day of the Somme alone.”

The 58th Annual Civic Trust Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday 10 March 2017 at The Guildhall Winchester, when the winner of the Pro Tem Special Award will be announced.