British artist Nic Joly has used his mastery of miniature sculpture to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I in his own inimitable fashion. Using the ultimate symbol of remembrance, the poppy, he has created a piece aptly entitled ‘Never Forgotten’.
Nic’s initial inspiration came from a deeply poignant meeting with a ninety-six year old war veteran who talked Nic through not only his own experiences in World War II, but also those of his father in World War I. In that moment, past and present combined and history was no longer a chain of events in dusty text books; for Nic, it became “all so real, and so relevant”. With humbling nonchalance, the veteran uttered words that will forever resonate with courage and fortitude: “We were just doing our job.”
The realisation that veterans seek remembrance for the sacriﬁce made by fallen comrades, rather than sympathy and awe, inspired Nic to create Never Forgotten. He shared a photo of his completed piece on social media and received a phenomenal response, with over 28,000 people sharing the image, and many using it to comment on the bravery of those who fought, share memories of loved ones that were lost in battle and express their gratitude for the freedom we now enjoy.
Nic was overwhelmed that something he had created could move people so much. Recognising this opportunity, he insisted that the original was auctioned for a veterans’ charity, where it raised a staggering £7,500.
Following on from that triumph, we are delighted to announce that we are releasing a bronze edition of Never Forgotten to mark the centenary. The edition size is 1,566 – to mark every day the war was fought. Each piece will be labelled by day and date on the back with a small piece of information about the First World War. So that each piece is as individual as each day in the war, and each life lost.
Castle Galleries is donating £100 from the sale of every piece to The Royal British Legion, to help Nic reach his goal of raising £150,000 to help support war veterans past and present.
“In my own small way, I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives, in conﬂicts from World War I until the present day, will be Never Forgotten.” – Nic Joly
Never Forgotten will be available in galleries nationally, and online from Monday 4 August.