How would you like to be involved in Danny Boyle’s national event to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War?

The hugely-respected film director is producing Pages of the Sea, a commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. On November 11, Remembrance Sunday, the public is invited to gather on beaches across the UK for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Sunderland Culture will be part of Pages of the Sea, with Roker Beach being among a handful of beaches chosen nationally to host the event. Each project centres on the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

Now Sunderland Culture are looking for volunteers to help deliver Pages of the Sea.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, and Producer of the Sunderland Pages of the Sea event explained: “We’re delighted the city is to play a major role in such an important national occasion. It’s an event that people can get involved with as well as going to Roker Beach on November 11 to see the tide wash away our images.

“Firstly we are looking for a small selection of people with either practical skills to help construct a large-scale grid on the sand or more artistic skills to assist in drawing the portrait. The grids will be used to help create the main portrait.

“Secondly, we’re also on the look-out for volunteers to help run the event, helping guide people to the site, answering any of the public’s questions and generally helping out. We had a fantastic army of volunteers who helped make the visit of the Tall Ships such a memorable few days and we hope that some of those brilliant people might put their names forward.”

If you would like to help, email Helen at [email protected]

Pages of the Sea will also feature a poem written by poet Carol Ann Duffy which visitors to the beach can listen to or alternatively read to themselves on November 11.

The public is also invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on November 11. The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

Pages of the Sea is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK with support from The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

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