Artist Scarlett Raven on the set of 'The Danger Tree' (Photo: Centenary News)

Digital art project commemorates Battle of the Somme

Posted on on 29 June 2016
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The Danger Tree, an interactive art exhibition commemorating the Battle of the Somme, made its centenary debut in Greenwich, London, on July 1st 2016.

Scarlett Raven combines her oil paintings with archive voices, war poetry, music, graphics and more, accessed by screening the pictures with an app to reveal the thoughts behind them.

Visitors enter an exhibition space of wrecked buildings, devised by the Trainspotting film set designer Kave Quinn, representing the destruction wrought by the First World War.

The exhibition itself is named after the tree used as a rallying point by soldiers of the Newfoundland Regiment during their disastrous attack at Beaumont-Hamel on the first day of the Somme.

Scarlett Raven was inspired by a box of soil from the Somme collected by her father just before he died in 2014.

"It is my interpretation of a devastating, yet also touching part of human history," the 30-year-old artist says.

Centenary News verdict: 'An imaginative example of how First World War remembrance has ventured well beyond traditional parades and museum exhibitions during the 2014-18 Centenary. New technology is being widely used to broaden interest in the major anniversaries. This 'augmented reality' exhibition is far removed from a classic narrative of the Battle of the Somme, but thought-provoking nonetheless. Scarlett Raven's canvasses of poppyfelds alone conjure up the broad horizons of Picardy' - CN Editor Peter Alhadeff.

The Danger Tree runs until July 31st 2016. The free 'pop-up' event takes place at a venue beside the River Thames - New Capital Quay, London SE10 9FR. The exhibition will tour to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in autumn 2016.

Photos: Centenary News