Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Michelle Dickens
‘White Handkerchiefs’, 1995 (October)
Morrisons Supermarket, Hillsborough
gloss paint on boards

(Removed for redevelopment of the site in 2002)

Morrisons Supermarket at Hillsborough Barracks. (AZ p.86 3B)

The mural consists of solid panels alternating with slatted panels. This temporary piece hides the old washhouse, part of the site awaiting development. The piece was still there in August 1997. The solid panels are painted with figures, those at the base of the hill are of soldiers in uniforms of the period around 1850. Higher up the hill these are replaced by the figures of pedestrians, those at the top of the hill become shoppers carrying white shopping bags. The figures are painted in outline only, the outlines becoming fainter as the figures reach the top of the hill, until from a distance only the white shopping bags may seen, looking somewhat like white handkerchiefs. Along the base of the panels a border of poppies provides “..a sign of remembrance and commemoration, but also of the hope of summery days to come” (from artist’s statement). The mural consists of 44 panels, each 4 foot wide and 8 foot high. The total length of the piece is 178 feet.

Morrisons Supermarkets plc. The brief was to provide a decorative mural for temporary hoardings with reference to the site.

There was no official opening and there is no plaque by this piece, neither was there any press coverage. Onsite verbal public response was very positive. Interestingly one of the panels depicting a soldier was stolen within a few months of completion.

More images of this piece.

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Last updated September 5, 2006