The poignant reason behind 'bed sheet' flag display on College Green in Bristol

More than 100 flags made of NHS hospital bed sheets have been installed on College Green in memory of those who have died during the Covid pandemic.

The display, named In Memoriam, was created by Bristol artist Luke Jerram.

It was originally commissioned in 2020 by the Arts & Culture Programme at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) and Culture Weston. 

Since then, the touring artwork has travelled throughout the UK and Europe, but this is its first appearance in Bristol.

Luke Jerram said: “It’s great to finally bring the artwork home to Bristol. 

“This piece reflects changing moods and atmospheres according to the weather and how visitors interact with it. 

“I hope this artwork will create a framed space and moment in time for personal and shared reflection.”

In Memoriam is intended to be a setting for a 'community programme' of acoustic music, poetry, movement and individual personal acts of remembrance.

Anna Farthing, Arts Programme Director of UHBW said: “In Memoriam is a tribute to the NHS health and care staff who continue to serve others during these most exceptional times. We could not have got through the pandemic to date without them.

“Public art that is accessible and engaging provides an opportunity for the NHS and social care sector to engage with local people in a slower, gentler and more reflective way. 

"This internationally renowned artistic installation offers a moment of contemplation for everyone that visits.

It helps us reflect upon the unique personal impact that the pandemic has had – touching all of our lives – personally, at home, at work and in our local community.”