We have produced a project called the ‘6000 Children’ where we painted 6000 life size figures of playing children on a hill in Hebden Bridge that when viewed from the sky form a child’s face. Unveiled ahead of World Children’s Day on 20th November, the land art was inspired by UNICEF’s warning that globally, due to the pandemic, an additional 6,000 child deaths* could occur every day as a result of weak health systems and disruptions to routine services like vaccines. The image covers 11,000 square metres and is 110m long.
“As parents ourselves of young children, we were distressed to hear that so many children could lose their lives from preventable causes in the UK and abroad. Statistics like 6000 children losing their lives are difficult to comprehend so we decided that we would paint them so people can see what that number really looks like,” say Jamie and Claire Wardley.
The project was supported by UNICEF. Rebecca Dallison, Head of Campaigns, UNICEF UK said: “The pandemic is the most urgent global crisis affecting children’s lives in living memory. Around the world and here in the UK, children’s support systems have been ripped away, their borders closed, their education and access to routine health care disrupted and their food supply cut off.
“This art installation draws attention to the worst-case scenario for ‘generation COVID’. But this nightmare can be averted if urgent action is taken. The UK Government can take leadership in delivering those solutions by placing children at the center of its recovery plan – both at home and abroad.”
The drawing highlights the challenges faced by children around the world, calling on global leaders to include their needs in global recovery plans from the pandemic.
Our team made up of Jamie, Claire, Rich, Liz, Mark, Dunc and Lou created the image on a hillside in Hebden Bridge working tirelessly into the night over three days to be ready for World Children’s Day. You are all amazing!
The field painting was a product of a lot of support for the project. It was made on a field of Old Chamber Farm and Campsite where we were hosted by the most gracious Ann Jones who couldn’t do anymore to help. Bez Burrows has made a wonderful film, Spray Plant and Grassline provided the machines and paint respectively. Not forgetting the talented Frankie Burrows aged 5 for reading the statistics! Thank you all!
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Here are some of the coverage we received
The Telegraph photos of the day
The piece was also printed in The Telegraph and The Yorkshire Post