Four shortlisted artists were invited to submit design proposals for the memorial. They engaged with stakeholders on the Steering Committee and adult learners on the WEA Scotland who were investigating opposition to the First World War in Scotland.
Edinburgh artist Kate Ive’s winning design will be unveiled at a launch event at Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House on Conscientious Objectors Day. Kate’s sculpture will be notably different from the numerous war memorials in Princes St Gardens which place an heroic figure on a plinth. Instead it is an inclusive and intriguing sculpture that encourages exploration and further enquiry and offers a space for and invites reflection on alternatives to war like peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Artists were given the objective of creating a memorial that shows the breadth of conscientious objection and contributions made by individuals and organisations that together seek peaceful alternatives to war.
For many people, conscientious objection was a deeply personal and spiritual choice, and the memorial needed to reflect this: being personal and thought provoking, representing past, present and future COs – To be non-judgemental, inclusive, and physically and conceptually welcoming – The memorial needs to be appropriate for its garden setting now and over years to come.
The steering committee wanted the memorial to be a reflection space open to everyone, encouraging discussions at all levels.
Kate’s design exceeding our expectations on all these fronts, creating a space where visitors will feel invited to contemplate the memorial’s meaning in a welcoming and non-confrontational way.
This will be a memorial of international significance, enhancing Princes Street Gardens and providing space imbued with a timeless aesthetic, created with community and specialist consideration.
The design creates a bronze sculpture of a peace tree drawing inspiration from Davidia involucrata ‘The Handkerchief Tree’. The tree will be covered in bronze embroidered handkerchiefs, each showing a different aspect of conscientious objection, opposition to war and peacebuilding.
Read Kate Ive’s full design proposal including the full story of her fascinating design concept and lots of photos here.
About The Artist
Kate Ive is an award-winning artist working from her studio at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW). She has created a number of notable artworks, including work for the Helensburgh Outdoor Museum, the City of Edinburgh Council’s Promenade, Falkland Conservation Park and a number of sculpture commissions for Scottish Government campaigns. Kate sculpts and carves on a delicate and minute scale with an eye for detail and intricacy in a wide range of materials including amongst others bronze, concrete, wax and metal plating.
View the other shortlisted design proposals here.