Header Image: One For Sorrow by Maddi Nicholson Photo: Maddi Nicholson


Art Gene’s Artist Founder Director Maddi Nicholson has been selected to attend the National Service of Thanksgiving to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice in Westminster Abbey on Sunday 11 November 2018.

Members of the Royal family, religious and political leaders will be joined by public representatives who have contributed to the Centenary on a national, regional and local level.

Art Gene was nominated by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for  ‘Fort Walney Uncovered’,  an Art and Archeology project in partnership with Natural England, on North Walney National Nature Reserve, on Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness.

Recognising the huge contribution  HLF and its First World War projects have made to the Centenary, the Department for Digital, Media and Sport invited HLF to nominate people to attend the Service.  As a result  300 people who have been involved in successful HLF funded First World War projects across the UK and will be attending the Service on Sunday.

Maddi said ”its a great honour to represent Barrow as part of the centenary Armistice Service, and be a part of such an important national event.”

‘Fort Walney Uncovered’ was an Art and Archaeological project, working with local communities to understand a first World War training camp on the Cumbrian Island.

The project undertook a community archaeological dig into the 1st WW practice trenches, and developed a mobile phone app as a walking tour to interpret the site and national nature reserve. The project also created a lasting legacy, an artwork as a non civic war memorial, for the men who trained there and went off to war, never to come back again.

“Creating the ’One for Sorrow’ artworks for Fort Walney Project was an incredibly moving experience, I felt the weight of responsibility,  all those young mens lives lost, and wanted to deliver an artwork that respected and reflected their tragic loss..”

Maddi Nicholson

Charlie MacKeith, who was part of Art Gene’s team on ‘Fort Walney Uncovered’, is also attending having been nominated for his work on the competition winning entry for the VC Stone and fundraising for the restoration of Preston’s and Fleetwood’s war memorials.

His VC Stone design was inspired by measuring and drawing Private Tom Caddy’s Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s headstone in St Mary’s churchyard, Whicham. Tom died aged 23 in 1920 from the effects of gas poisoning and the headstone’s calm simplicity provided the clues as to how such incredible losses and achievements might be commemorated.

‘It has been a privilege to work with and learn from veterans and communities on each of my projects as well as having the opportunity to learn about each of the VC winners. My favourite remains Barrow’s ‘Cigarette VC’, William Forshaw’.

Charlie MacKeith

Fort Walney and Charlie’s work in Preston and Fleetwood were made possible by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which distributes the’ heritage share’ of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK. HLF has invested £97million in 2,200 First World War Centenary projects.

See more about the project here.

Film created by Colin Aldred, Aerial Artwork

Image: One For Sorrow (Gate) By Maddi Nicholson Photo: Maddi Nicholson

Bottom Image: Local school taking part in Fort Walney archaeology Photo: Maddi Nicholson


© Art Gene
Tel: +44 (0)1229 825085

Art Gene

Bath Street,


Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK

Donate here

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Registered Charity: 1135536

Registered in England: 4359454

All images, artwork and text on this website are protected by copyright and may not be downloaded or otherwise reproduced or distributed without the permission of Art Gene. © Art Gene associates, artists and partners, 2022.