Hundreds of images sent in already for Luton's photomosaic to remember victims of Covid pandemic

Here's how you can be part of a new memorial for Luton

By Holly Patel
Friday, 13th August 2021, 3:42 pm

Hundreds of images and stories have been sent in to Luton Borough Council already for a huge, town centre photomosaic commemorating those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People connected to Luton are being encouraged to submit images and stories for the photomosaic.

'Our River' will be a photographic mosaic on one side of the Mall, facing a new park soon to be developed on Silver Street.

A mock up of Our River

The mosaic will feature 1,000 images of Luton residents, commemorating those lost in the pandemic, as well as celebrating the key workers.

The artwork will honour those lost, celebrate the people that worked hard to keep Luton safe and reflect the happy and momentous occasions which defined the past 16 months.

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Photos submitted will form part of the new artwork which will be displayed on the Mall wall in the town centre from October, and they will also be available in a digital artwork, enabling loved ones across the world to participate.

Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of the Council said: ‘’We’ve already had over 100 submissions since we announced the project a couple of weeks ago and we are really pleased that people feel they can connect with this very special way of commemorating what has been for many an horrendous 16 months.

“We hope that those who have lost someone will feel some comfort that their loved ones will be commemorated as part of this artwork.

"We are lifted too with images and stories of those who have carried out great things; from key workers to volunteers, as well as delivery drivers and all those who kept Luton going through this difficult time.

"We can already see this piece of art shaping up to be a touching and powerful way of immortalising our loved ones and I hope many people will want to take part."

To further promote the project, an exhibition of the photography collected so far will be presented in the Departure Lounge Gallery, Bute Street, until Saturday, September 4, the public can view the exhibition on Thursdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 6pm.

Residents will also be able to bring with them mementos or photographs of their loved ones and have them photographed by the project team’s professional photographer, who will also capture resident’s stories and add them to the artwork on their behalf.

Matthew Shaul, director of Departure Lounge said "We needed no persuasion to become part of this project – photography and portraiture is at the heart of what we do and in this case it bears witness to the local impact of an unprecedented event in world history.

"This remarkable exhibition will form an important part of how we, collectively, make sense of and remember the pandemic both immediately and into the future."

The artwork will be displayed on the Mall Wall, facing a new park which will be developed on Silver Street.

These developments are part of the Luton Town Centre Masterplan which will see the town transformed over the next 10 years.

Luton Council is delivering Our River with support from the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund, The Mall Luton and in partnership with Keech Hospice and Departure Lounge Gallery.

To view submissions so far select the ‘Photo Stories’ tab on the Our River website. If you want to speak to one of the project team email [email protected].