Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission

04 Nov 2020

In 2018, silversmith Michael Lloyd was approached by a family to undertake a special commission to honour the memory of their father whose experiences during the first world war had a profound effect on all the family, years after peace had been declared. His return to "A land fit for heroes" was not the reality he found. After much thought into what form the memorial should take, a candlestick was chosen; giving a light to the memory of all those who had suffered. You can read more about The Candlestick of Reconciliation in our memorial blog below. The candlestick will feature in the Remembrance Sunday service at St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh this weekend.

Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd in his garden, Dumfries & Galloway
Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd's studio, Dumfires & Galloway

 The Candlestick of Reconciliation | Michael Lloyd

Below, Michael Lloyd discusses the commission and design process that led to the creation of The Candlestick of reconciliation...

'My generation is the first in which the majority have not experienced warfare 1st hand, a fact for which I am immensely grateful. Instead we have inherited the memories passed down from parents and grandparents recalling the tragedy of war and now bear the responsibility of remembrance, a sense of history that should have dictated to us that the same mistakes must not be made again, that the sacrifices made should not have been totally in vain.

In 2018 I was approached by a patron to make a memorial dedicated to his father who's experiences during the first world war, of being shot, operated upon and then sent back to the front line had a profound effect not only on him, but on all the family for many years after peace had been declared. His return to "A land fit for heroes" was not the reality he found.

After much thought into what form the memorial should take, a candlestick was chosen, the gesture of lighting the candle giving voice to those that suffered. A line from T.S. Elliot's Little Gidding inspired the quotation wrought into the memorial "And what the dead had no speech for when living, they can tell you being dead".

Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd, The Candlestick of Reconciliation, silver, scorched wood

Some inanimate objects have the power to absorb the history of their time, they can connect with us with a physicality that is different to the spoken word.

After the war, the patron's father retained two keepsakes, the bullet that had been removed from his wound and a German identity disc; the fate of it's owner unknown. Both these objects are housed in the candlestick, laid to rest together, a brutal authenticity that should shock us.

Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd, The Candlestick of Reconciliation (detail of front)
Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd, The Candlestick of Reconciliation (detail of front)

This winged candlestick has two sides, light and dark, of the grave markers, poppies and quotation on one side, the tree of life in bud on the other in the hope that out of the darkness of despair light may emerge.

It has been both commissioned and made in the hope that it will be used to bring humanity together in recognition of the desire for universal harmony.

Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd, The Candlestick of Reconciliation (detail of reverse)
Michael Lloyd | Memorial Commission
Michael Lloyd, The Candlestick of Reconciliation (detail of reverse)

You can view available work by Michael Lloyd here.

More News