Paint a poppy workshops held to honour Sunderland’s fallen

A previous Paint a Poppy workshop
A previous Paint a Poppy workshop
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Make your mark on a striking tribute to the fallen.

As part of an ongoing arts project, which has seen hundreds of people across the city paint poppies, workshops will be held at Sunderland Minster.

Artist Ian Potts’ Paint a Poppy project has captured imaginations across Wearside and has seen artists aged from four to 101 paint their own personal tributes to the fallen of WW1.

In total 3,000 poppies have been painted by Wearsiders since the project began six years ago.

These poppies have been made into giant collages and will be on display at Sunderland Minster until November 17. One of the special exhibits is a poppy from the Tower of London display, dedicated to Wearside Paratrooper Nathan Cuthbertson who was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 19.

The teenager’s tragic death helped inspire the art project which honours those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Workshops will run on key historical First World War dates, to which Ian hopes more families will bring copies of their war-time family photographs to be incorporated into the pictures, adding a poignant, personal sense of depth to the display.

Ian said: “Through Paint a Poppy, children have discovered ancestors they never knew existed and have been astounded by their heroism. For some families who have lost loved ones to war, it has helped to provide solace.

The initiative has proved immensely popular, so much so that Ian will continue the project until 11am on Armistice Day 2018, marking 100 years since the end of the Great War.

Paint a Poppy students have ranged in age and abilities from serious club painters to those who had never picked up a paintbrush up before.

The oldest participant is the inspirational Virginia Acheson from Glenhome Care Home at Roker who painted for the first time at 101 years of age, the only artist who was born before the outbreak of the First World War.

•Paint a Poppy workshops will be held at Sunderland Minster on Thursday, November 10 from 10am to noon and Friday, November 11 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. There will also be a special workshop with the children from the Sunderland Minster playgroup. The workshops are free to attend.

•Anyone who wants more information can email Ian on or call 0798 289 2262.