Flagging up wartime PM in Great Cheverell

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Xavier Pye with his Union Flag collage made up of images of Sir Winston Churchill Xavier Pye with his Union Flag collage made up of images of Sir Winston Churchill

Teenage artist Xavier Pye set out to open the eyes of primary school children in his area after his younger sister said she had never heard of Sir Winston Churchill.

Xavier, 15, from Little Cheverell, a pupil at Bedales independent school in Petersfield, Hampshire, devoted his art project to raising the profile of the Second World War prime minister in a huge installation of the Union Flag consisting of images of Sir Winston.

He hired Great Cheverell pavilion for two days to lay out the collage and then filmed children from nearby Holy Trinity Primary School joining in by colouring in the eyes of the images.

Xavier said: “My younger sister Phe Phe, who is eight, inspired me by asking who Winston Churchill was. I was amazed she hadn’t heard of him. So I decided to call it Open Their Eyes and the children joined in by drawing in Sir Winston’s eyes.

“The aim was to provoke curiosity about the war but also to introduce children to interactive and fun art. They really entered into the spirit of it and had a great time. I would like to thank the head teacher, Mercedes Henning, and her staff who entered into it with such enthusiasm at very short notice.”

Xavier hand-printed each ‘pixel’ of Sir Winston. At the installation Xavier, with help from his parents Jonathan and Louise, set up a smoke machine and flashing lights while a recording of Sir Win-ston speaking was played.

Xavier will submit the video he took as his project for the Bedales Assessed Course, the school’s equivalent of GCSE.

He said: “The feedback from my sister has been positive and I hope I achieved my goal of provoking questions.”

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