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SPILL Festival teams with Tower of London poppies project group for world premiere

Clarion Call, a co-commission between Pacitti Company and 14-18 NOW, will launch this year's SPILL Festival of Performance. Picture: THOMAS HYLAND

Clarion Call, a co-commission between Pacitti Company and 14-18 NOW, will launch this year's SPILL Festival of Performance. Picture: THOMAS HYLAND

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This year’s SPILL Festival of Performance will begin with the world premiere of Clarion Call, a co-commission between Ipswich arts charity the Pacitti Company and 14-18 NOW, which was behind the Tower of London poppies project.

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red project at The Tower of London. Picture: JESSICA BALAAM The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red project at The Tower of London. Picture: JESSICA BALAAM

It’s a free, large-scale outdoor sound work that will ring out across the town from Ipswich Waterfront, exploring the local history of the First World War while reflecting contemporary Britain.

Supported by Arts Council England and Ipswich Borough Council, it was devised by Melbourne-based artists Byron J Scullin, Hannah Fox and Thomas Supple. It uses audio technology originally employed in war and emergencies alongside the voices and songs of women and girls.

Artist Robert Pacitti, SPILL’s artistic director, said it was a tremendous honour to develop Clarion Call with 14-18 NOW, which aims to engage people with the Great War and look at its impact on today’s society. It has commissioned more than 140 artworks to date, seen by more than 30million people.

“Commemorating those who gave their lives for us all during the First World War requires the utmost respect and dignity. Not only is the scale of Clarion Call unprecedented in the east of England as a public artwork, but its impact is sure to be incredibly moving to the people of Ipswich, Suffolk and beyond.

Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: GREGG BROWN Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I am thankful to all of the project partners and funders helping bring this once in a generation event to Ipswich.”

Created in 2007, SPILL is an international festival of live art, music, heritage, activism, performance and family events featuring work by artists from around the world. This year’s theme is On Time.

It takes over the town’s venues, galleries and public spaces from October 25-November 4. The full programme, plus a complementary series of events at the Think Tank, next to Ipswich Museum, will be announced later in the year.

Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s deputy leader, added: “We are very pleased to support this innovative and moving project to mark the end of the First World War. It will add a new dimension to our civic – and private – remembrance in this centenary year.”

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