Explore the Participants' Work: New Lodge Arts

These works were created by young people in the workshops at the National Museums Northern Ireland

Jigsaw Collective

Propaganda and Heroism

There are elements of propaganda and heroism in my picture because they were two of the most common things in World War One. In my picture there’s a collage of different propaganda slogans and medals that the soldiers were awarded. There’s also a cross in the back to symbolise the propaganda used to make heroes, who then went on to die as heroes.
I like super heroes and I like the thought of people being heroes. I think anyone who has survived World War One is a hero because they managed to survive four years of horrific conflict. The lies and manipulation used in propaganda helped to recruit all the young men to become soldiers, who then went on to fight to become heroes. Even people who died became heroes too.


My picture is about hope. Hope to me is to have a good future, have a good job and travel to different countries. Hope to soldiers in World War One would be to get home safely to their families, hoping that their families are OK. And hope for everyone would be to hope that there are no more wars.


In World War One I think friendship would have been very important because they had to make new friends. They were away from their own friends and they missed them. Not being with my friends would have made me feel isolated, sad and scared. People shouldn’t fight. Violence is not the answer, friendship is.

In this project I’ve learned about the diaries of George Hackney and I’ve also made a lot of friends who I’m really close to now. I chose friendship as my theme because I love my best friends Megan and Chloe and TP and Tom. In my picture I have the word friendship and a group of soldiers from World War One who are with their friends.

Keeping in Touch

My piece is about keeping in touch. I’ve used words and pictures from George Hackney’s diary and letters from World War One. Keeping in touch, telling people how you are, is really important. Letters and postcards were the only way to contact home when you were in the trenches. Letters sent home would take weeks to arrive and the soldier who sent it might not have been alive by the time if got there. Keeping in touch and knowing all is well keeps us going through good times and bad.


My picture is about home because the soldiers in World War One always thought about home and looked forward to returning to their families. The images I used of the flats in New Lodge symbolise home because they show homes in a local area, which the soldiers would have liked to return to. I used a picture of a letter written by a soldier who was going to be returning home for Christmas, but sadly he died beforehand. It really touched my heart as the young soldier had done his duty at war and was excited to return home, but never got the chance to.

Home makes me feel safe, knowing that it’s always there and that my family loves me. When the soldiers were in the trenches, home kept them going, knowing that they would be returning soon to their families. I’ve learned from this project that I’m lucky to be with my family and to be in a safe environment and not at war.


My picture is about fear because I would have been scared if I had been in World War One. I’ve used a photo of flowers that I took from the New Lodge because they’re pretty and they make me feel happy, and not afraid. I’ve also used a picture from George Hackney’s diary from the Western Front during World War One and my own words to describe how I would feel: ‘When I’m afraid I walk away and start laughing, my heart beats fast, I panic, I feel scared, start crying and feel stressed. If I was here, this is how I would feel, but who would I turn to? I would want to come home.’


My picture represents friendship within a community. Friendship was important throughout World War One because you would have needed someone to talk to when the times got tough.

When you’re at war, community means different people coming together to fight for what they believe in. Your own community will be rooting for you to come home safely and thinking of your community gives you faith to come home.


My piece is about Freedom. There’s a soldier, medals, a death penny, images from George Hackney’s diary, postcards and my own photographs with the words: ‘He says he’s going to live but do you think he will?’ I chose these words because I feel they say a lot about World War One; a lot of people died and it’s important.

To me, freedom means being happy and having the space to roam free. It also means being heard and people listening to what you’re saying. Most ordinary people and soldiers didn’t get the chance to say what they thought; if they didn’t want to go to war they didn’t get the chance to talk about it, or they felt they couldn’t. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to go. Freedom doesn’t mean going to war.


My picture is of loneliness because loneliness in World War One is a big thing; you’re out on your own and you’re cut off from loved ones. My picture has a photo that I took in the New Lodge and I Photoshoped an old photo of someone going to dig the trenches. I made it look ghostly to emphasise the effect of loneliness. I’ve also used some words from George Hackney’s diary, which were written on 12 August 1916: ‘‘My birthday, the celebration of which I hope will never take place under the same circumstances again.

Loneliness to me means being upset, alone, unwanted, sad, cut-off. In World War One they would be cut off from loved ones; they always seem alone while they are at war.


My picture is about family. I’ve used a poster from World War One showing mothers saying goodbye to their sons. I’ve also used pictures from George Hackney’s diary and something he wrote on Monday 15 November 1915 saying: ‘My spirits were revived by receiving a letter and parcel from home.’

To me family means feeling safe, being protected, being able to trust other people and always having someone to turn to. In World War One, keeping in touch would be really important, to let my family know how I’m doing, to let them know I’m safe. I wouldn’t want to be away from my family.


My picture is about Peace. I’ve used images that I’ve taken at the New Lodge, together with photos from George Hackney’s diary and World War One poster images. My picture shows what peace means to me. Peace to me means feeling free, calm, joyful, peaceful and everything is colourful. At war you are fighting for peace, but you don’t have any.

View the collection objects that inspired these works