A lasting beacon to World War One heroes has set the grounds of a historic estate alight, thanks to a Slaithwaite artist.

Visitors to Tatton Park are now being dazzled by the stunning memorial flame, which was poignantly crafted by 23-year-old Alex Blakey to commemorate those who lost their lives.

The striking one and a half metre tall and one metre wide design includes images and war poetry and has been made out of concrete and delicate-looking yet robust kiln-formed glass.

The flame structure, which also includes a real burning torch, represents how memories can never be extinguished from communities’ hearts’ and minds’.

It is the first major commission for Alex, who only set up her own business, Alx Creations, in February after graduating from university and was offered the esteemed commission over dozens of other sculptors.

She spent two months creating the frosted sculpture, which she entwined with passages from poems such as Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen and pictures of east Cheshire taken during the war.

She said: “It has been an amazing project to work on, especially because I only started my business two months before I was given the job.

“It took me a couple of weeks to find the right photos and words that I wanted to use in the piece , which was a fascinating experience, and then I started to work on my ideas.

Glass artist Alex Blakey of ALX Creations, Slaithwaite, pictured with her sketch of her WW1 memorial and a small scale sample glass panel from the memorial
Glass artist Alex Blakey of ALX Creations, Slaithwaite, pictured with her sketch of her WW1 memorial and a small scale sample glass panel from the memorial
 

“I love history so the chance to interpret memories of this kind has been great- I think using personal images and poetry helps to connect people better to the piece.”

She built her artwork at her studio in Spa Fields, before it was transported to Tatton Park for a special ceremony to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the war on August 4, where it was lit by the government’s chancellor, George Osborne.

Alex said: “To meet local dignitaries and listen to the speeches was very moving and it was great to be there and talk to them about the flame.”

The flame will remain lit until November 11 1918, when the sculpture will be transferred into the house.

Alex is now busy gaining inspiration from the Colne Valley’s impressive industrial heritage, which she has already used to create smaller pieces of work that bring the mills and surrounding landscape to life.

She hopes to use her early success to help gain further commissions and set up more workshops in the area for adults and children to help share the art of her craft.

For more information, go to: http://alxcreations.com .