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Pages of The Sea - Danny Boyle (A Mostyn, Llandudno Press Release) - 1 November 2018

Private Ellis Humphrey Evans, known as Hedd Wyn, to be commemorated with sand portrait on Colwyn Bay beach for Danny Boyle's armistice commission.

Private Ellis Humphrey Evans, 15th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, who lost his life in the First World War, will be commemorated by a large-scale sand portrait for Danny Boyle’s Armistice commission Pages of the Sea it was announced today. On Sunday 11 November, the public is invited to assemble at one of thirty-two beaches around the UK and the Republic of Ireland at low-tide for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

A large-scale portrait of Private Evans (better known by his bardic name of Hedd Wyn), designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will be drawn into the sand on the beach and washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. Each of the beaches taking part in the project will commemorate a different WW1 casualty.

Hedd Wyn (Welsh for Shining Peace) was born in Trawsfynydd, Meirionydd, North Wales on 13 January 1887 and killed during the Battle of Passchendaele, on 31 July 1917. He was a Welsh language poet who won his first bardic chair in 1907. Whilst in Flēchin, France, waiting to move to the Front at Ypres, he finished writing and submitted a poem, Yr Arwr (The Hero), to the 1917 National Eisteddfod. When the winner of the Bardic chair, with the pen-name 'Fleur-de-lis', was called to receive his prize during the chairing ceremony of the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead in 1917, nobody rose. Hedd Wyn, the victorious Bard had been killed a few weeks previously on the battlefield in Flanders. The empty chair was covered with a black veil and from then on, the Birkenhead Eisteddfod 1917 was known as “The Eisteddfod of the Black Chair”.

The public is invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to thank and say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on 11 November at The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add their own portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November. The Wound in Time will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November and is also available online.

The work is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, and is the culmination of the five-year programme of arts commissions marking the First World War centenary. It is delivered with partner organisations across the UK: National Trust; Activate Performing Arts; Creative Foundation; Eden Project; National Theatre Scotland; Nerve Centre; Sunderland Culture; Taliesin.  The work is in association with Aberystwyth Arts Centre; The Grand Theatre of Lemmings; Magna Vitae; MOSTYN; SeaChange Arts; Swansea Council; Swansea University; Theatre Orchard; and Visit Blackpool.  Each has been invited to create their own event centering around the sand art on the beach and reading of the poem, tailored to reflect the sacrifices of their local community.

Supported by The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With additional support from Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and National Rail.

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting


For further press information please contact Nia Wyn Roberts,


All primary schools across the UK will receive free 14-18 NOW learning resources to support this artistic commission. Every school is invited to take the lead from Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea to generate their own creative responses in marking the centenary year for their school or community setting, wherever they may be in the UK. Additionally on 9th November 2018 (14:00hrs) 14-18 NOW will contribute to the interactive live broadcast (BBC Armistice Live Lesson) delivered via the online platform BBC Teach to all UK schools, exploring through creative writing and art how we commemorate lives lost as a result of the First World War.

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle is a stage and film director, screenwriter and producer from Radcliffe, Manchester. Danny’s Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games wowed critics and audiences across the world. In 2009 Danny won eight Academy® Awards including Best Director and Best Picture for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.  

Additionally, Danny has directed the feature films SHALLOW GRAVE and TRAINSPOTTING, A LIFE LESS ORDINARY, THE BEACH, 28 DAYS LATER, MILLIONS, SUNSHINE, 127 HOURS, STEVE JOBS, TRANCE and TRAINSPOTTING T2. He has also directed highly acclaimed work in theatre and television, including 2011’s FRANKENSTEIN at the Royal National Theatre and, most recently, the FX series TRUST in 2018.

Danny is currently editing his most recent film, UNTITLED JACK AND ELLIE PROJECT, featuring the music of the Beatles, written by Richard Curtis and starring Himesh Patel and Lily James.

MOSTYN presents international art and culture of our time, activating people’s lives through exhibitions, cultural programmes and commercial activities. Situated in the coastal town of Llandudno, it is Wales’ foremost contemporary gallery and visual arts centre, serving as a place to form and share new perspectives through artistic/curatorial practice and audience engagement.  It is part of the Plus TATE, the UK-wide contemporary visual art network.

MOSTYN receives financial support from the Arts Council of Wales and Conwy County Borough Council Art Service. Mostyn Gallery Ltd.  is a charity registered in England and Wales (Registered Charity Number: 507842).

14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7 million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s, ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper has been seen by over 4 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award, 2017.  2018 is the final season, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War and includes PROCESSIONS marking the centenary of some UK women winning the right to vote, and Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old. 14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the DCMS with additional funding from The Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clore Duffield Foundation, NatWest and support from individuals.

The National Lottery

The National Lottery is a principal funder of 14-18 NOW. Funds have been awarded by three National Lottery distributing bodies: the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Big Lottery Fund, supporting a wide range of activities during the centenary of the First World War including Danny Boyle, Pages of The Sea. Thank you to The National Lottery players for what they have made possible.

Sand In Your Eye

Sand In Your Eye was established in 2003 and are professionals in the making of sculptures in sand and ice, and gigantic sand drawings on beaches.  On International Peace Day September 21st 2013, Sand In Your Eye made The Fallen 9000 where they drew 9000 stencils of fallen people on the beaches of Arramanche to visually demonstrate what happens in the absence of peace. This was reported in international media including TIME magazine.  They have also worked with Land Rover to produce a sand drawing 1km long and with Aardman animation to make the world’s largest animation by drawing on the beach.

The National Trust

The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces, and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy.  More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything the charity does. Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  More than 26 million people visit every year, and together with 5.2 million members and over 61,000 volunteers, they help to support the charity in its work to care for special places for ever, for everyone. 

For more information and ideas for great seasonal days out go to:

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success.

Lives of the First World War

‘Lives of the First World War’ is the permanent digital memorial for the centenary of the First World War, accessible to millions of people regardless of their location. IWM is urging everyone to research and remember their First World War connections at The aim is to reach 8 million stories, one for each of the men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform or on the home front during the conflict, by Armistice 2018. ‘Lives of the First World War’ is being delivered in partnership with findmypast Ltd and will be maintained and preserved by IWM beyond the centenary as a research tool for future generations.

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