On 4th August 2014, 100 years after the start of World War 1, everyone in the UK was invited to take part in ‘Lights Out’, a nation-wide campaign to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. By turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm, whilst leaving on a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection, the country was united in respect.
We were commissioned by Winchester City Council to design a light sculpture to commemorate the fallen across the Winchester district as part of Lights Out.
BOX 459 was erected and lit for the first time on 4th August 2014 in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral, referencing the remark from Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary, upon the eve of war in 1914:
“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
BOX 459 was inspired by the 459 fallen soldiers from the Winchester area. We wanted the box to emit powerful shafts of light, when lit, to shine through 459 apertures representing the city’s lost generation. A further 43 coloured apertures represent the fallen heroes of the 43 parishes in the Winchester District.
BOX 459 symbolises the Armistice. We translated the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month via the cubes dimensions, 1100 x 1100 x 1100mm. The material used was Corten steel and was inspired by the industrial nature of modern warfare.
BOX 459 will be located in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral from 11th November 2014 and will stand as a tribute until 11th November 2018, 100 years after World War 1 ended.